Photos by Lanewood Studio
After losing their first son, Austin Hatcher, to a rare form of pediatric cancer, Amy Jo and Jim Osborn created the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. Now, nearly 10 years later, Amy Jo serves as the foundation’s president, for which she was awarded “Humanitarian of the Year” in 2017 by her alma mater, Samford University. And just this year, she received the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award for donating a minimum of 40 hours a week to the foundation. Beyond the foundation and its mission, Amy Jo is also a mother of four, a photographer, and she and Jim run a 130+ acre cattle ranch in Apison. Read on to see how her deeply personal experiences have led her to become the impressive woman she is today.
HS What do you enjoy about working at the foundation?
AJO Of course, it’s very personal to us. It’s also so crucial. What we do for patients is so essential, and I enjoy sharing in those needs and building relationships that help us meet those needs.
HS How do you approach wellness?
AJO Moderation – to me that’s how I go about it. I’ve always tried to help the entire family eat healthy. But with kids, you’ll have unhealthy things, like ice cream. And that’s okay, but we do it in moderation. Sometimes, it’s hard to find time to workout, so I lay in the living room for crunches with kids crawling on top of me. And that’s okay. You just have to make it work for you.
HS How do you promote healthy choices with your children?
AJO We try not to do screen time at all during the week. I always tell them to get outside and do something – even if it’s just reading in the fresh air and sunshine. As a family, we do a lot of hiking and farm chores. And then nutritionally, because Jim is so into racing (I mean he has fuel in his veins!), we use a stoplight analogy for foods. “Red Light Foods” are things we don’t want to eat all the time, only every once in a while. “Yellow Light Foods” are foods that we have to have, like dairy, but don’t want to overindulge in. And then “Green Light Foods” are the natural, raw veggies and such that we should eat every day.
HS How do you approach emotional well-being?
AJO It’s changed quite a bit since Hatch passed. It was very difficult then. Then, just like now, life was so busy. I discovered you have to be able to take time for yourself and find ways to decompress. Sometimes that means taking some “me time” even if I feel guilty, and sometimes that means pulling back and just being with my family and enjoying them.
HS What would you tell others who have suffered loss?
AJO I guess there’s different steps. For me, at the time when it happened, it didn’t matter what anyone said. I couldn’t see past that fog. But I would say, keep looking up. Also don’t hold it in. It’s okay to be sad and express your grief; everyone grieves differently. You just have to keep looking forward and looking up. HS