November 24, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gene Chizik talks to the media following the Tigers 49-0 loss against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant Denny Stadium. Chizik refused to address his coaching future at Auburn University. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Former Auburn Tigers Coach Gene Chizik Surprises Cancer Patient With Car


It is times like this, with our nation in mourning, that it is comforting to see the feel good stories around the world to restore our faith in humanity.

Bayleigh Phillips is one of the rare people who has a positive impact on everyone that she comes across in her life. One of the peoplethat Bayleigh touched was former Auburn Tigers head coach Gene Chizik, his wife, Jonna, and their children.

Bayleigh has been engaged in a battle with a brain tumor for the past six-years.

On Thanksgiving, the Chizik’s showed Bayleigh how much of a positive impact she had on their lives when they made a call to her family’s home.

“My mom and dad were in the room where plates were being made, and I was running food to the patients,” Bayleigh said. “My mom’s phone kept ringing, but she had not stopped to answer. Finally she looked at it and it was Mrs. Jonna Chizik, so she handed me the phone and asked me to call her back.

“He was just talking to me like normal. He asked me how school was going, what classes I was taking, and I told him. He asked me how I was doing in driver’s ed. I shared with him about class, and told him that I was doing good, but every now and then I get a little too close to the mailboxes. He laughed and said, `I have been driving a long time, Bayleigh, and every now and then I get a little too close to the mailboxes, too.”

Chizik took the holiday season as an opportunity to repay Bayleigh for positively touching the life of his family.

“He said, `You know, me and Mrs. Jonna have known you for a long time, and you are such a responsible young lady and such an inspiration to us, we wanted to tell you that we got you a car,’” she said. “I just cried and cried. I could not believe it.”

It’s nice to see people helping those in need and making a positive impact on their life. By making a positive gesture towards someone else, you will eventually be helping many more thanks to your kind actions.

Bayleigh reminded us all of that when she said she has learned to pay it forward, when it comes to good deeds.

“I have always tried to give back to the organizations and foundations that have helped my family on this journey, as well as to the families that have a child with cancer and to any church or youth group that has asked me to speak,” she said.

“I don’t know why I was chosen for this journey. But I will never pass on the opportunity to share with others what has God has done in my life in the midst of the storm. This may seem cliché, but life is what you make it.”

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Auburn Tigers Gene Chizik

  • http://www.facebook.com/dustin.w.belyeu Dustin Wayne Belyeu

    This is awesome I love that little girl she is so sweet! I am a DJ i played at one of her birthday parties and played an event my mom’s beauty shop put on to raise money for her. She is such a strong person and an inspiration. This makes me so happy to see a part of the AU family (no matter if they were fired or not) do something so great for such a great person.

  • Ted Fulford

    Coach, you have a good heart. As much as this car meant to this girl I am sure you and your wife could not stop beaming from the joy it brought to your heart. Thanks from a member of AU Family. I will be praying for you and your family.