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Haberkorn Honors Mother, Breast Cancer Survivor, in Ink

Oct 9, 2014

By Jordan Stepp. Cal Athletic Communications

October is a very special month to a vast majority of people. October represents breast cancer awareness month and so many are affected by this horrible disease. One of those affected is Cal men’s soccer sophomore defender Trevor Haberkorn, whose mother, Patty, was diagnosed with breast cancer on May 12, 2008. That day changed everything for Trevor and his family.

“I could tell you exactly when it happened,” Haberkorn said of hearing about his mother’s diagnosis. “I was with my brother upstairs playing Xbox and our parents called us down, and I could just see my mom crying on the couch. My dad had to speak for her and we were all just in shock. It’s tough to hear that and as strong as she is, she was so emotional and I lost it too. It was the hardest thing to hear; I was just a kid then in middle school. I really didn’t know what to say at the time.”

So many can relate to this very moment, and each of those can harken back to that terrifying time when either they or a loved one was delivered this earth-shattering news. By the age of 16, Haberkorn knew he wanted to do something big to honor his mother and her strength. This semester, he made that a reality by getting “V XII MMVIII” tattooed on his forearm.

“I’ve always wanted to do something for her because she has always done so much for me,” he said. “I thought this was a great thing to have and she loves it.”

The roman numerals signify that date, May 12, 2008. The fact that it is permanent carries a lot of meaning for the Keller, Texas native. Being away from his mother and family has been a difficult adjustment for the sophomore in Berkeley, and being able to have this piece of his mother with him at all times is a very big component of Trevor.

Haberkorn speaks happily about Patty, as well as their relationship, remarking how he “couldn’t be happier to have such an inspiring woman in my life.” The fact that Patty and a large contingency of the Haberkorn family will be in town this weekend for the UCLA and San Diego State matches at Edwards Stadium is just icing on the cake. He credits his mom for helping to keep their family together and trumpets her always positive attitude.

“She is my biggest supporter, by far,” he said. “Back in 2008 when this all happened, it really changed me and I knew that I could possibly lose her, so I fought so much harder on the field and in school. My biggest thing was just trying to make her proud because she fought so hard for us at home, getting things for us. I still want to make her proud to this day. Having her here during her recovery to be able to just hang out is going to be awesome.”

Trevor recalls the little things from his childhood as being the most important when it comes to his mom. Whether it is coming home to her “fantastic, top-notch” sour cream chicken enchiladas (to which he claims his roommates can attest), going out to dinner with his family, or going out to grab some ice cream, these are the comforts that Trevor has and still does enjoy.

Haberkorn also recalls one more of those little things that mean the most about his mom: “Another is her just maybe coming in and giving me a kiss good night after she was already in bed, just because she felt the need to do that. I wish I could have her here (in Berkeley), but it means that much more to me now.”

The month of October brings to light awareness about the struggle that so many go through with this disease, and to Trevor, helping raise that awareness is something that is very near and dear to him.

“It definitely means a lot to me. I wish I could get some pink shoes, pink socks or a pink jersey. But just to have this (tattoo) and having her in my life means the most to me. Having a month that is for her is great because back in the day, I wouldn’t have probably thought of October as anything special, and now that this has happened to her and I know what it is like, it’s different. I have met plenty of people that have it as well, so it means a lot.”

To those others affected by breast cancer, or other similar afflictions, Trevor maintains that his family being there for Patty during the hardest times is and was crucial, “If someone you know is going through it, you just have to be there for them because that’s what they need most – (their) family and friends.”