Preparing For My First-Ever Hundred Hole Hike (HHH)
Wow...where to start? Since the beginning of Hundred Hole Hikes back in 2012, I've always wanted to take part in one of these incredible events. As an avid golfer, who wouldn't want to spend 12-14 straight hours on a golf course, walking somewhere between 30 and 40 miles and swinging a golf club over 500 times? Okay...maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it certainly appeals to me!
About a month ago, one of my fellow Cleveland-area Golfweek Rater buddies (Eamon Kelly) contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in joining him for an alternate shot formatted HHH out on Long Island. I jumped at the chance!
I have always known that my charity of choice would be the Arthritis Foundation, as this cause is very near and dear to my heart. You see, when my (now) 18-year-old daughter Kathryn was 9 years old, she sprained her ankle on a schoolyard playground after get pushed by another student. Several doctors visits later the issue did not seem to be improving, and we were soon heading down to Florida for a trip to Disney World. About halfway through our visit to the Magic Kingdom, Kathryn wanted to go back to the hotel room for the rest of the day...her left foot hurt that bad! Something was clearly wrong, more so than a simple ankle sprain. At our next doctor visit (to an orthopedic surgeon), he suggested we go see one of the foremost Pediatric Rheumatologists at the Cleveland Clinic, and so we did. Within a few minutes of examining her it was abundantly clear...he informed us that Kathryn had Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (i.e., within multiple joints). "How can a 9 year old have arthritis?" we wondered, and that was just the beginning of the devastating news regarding this maddening, non-discriminate disease...it can affect anyone at any age and any time (especially females).
The journey we embarked on at that moment continues to this day, always wondering where (and how) the disease will rear its ugly head. Kathryn has suffered through a long series of therapy and treatment options, each one working to a varying degree of relief and comfort. From multiple cortisone shots directly into her joints, epi-pen style medication injections, infusion sessions involving IV units and most recently the discovery that the arthritis destroyed an entire joint in her left ankle that could only be "fixed" by fusing the bones together...permanently.
Kathryn has dealt with arthritis in her ankles, knees, hands, jaw and ever her eyes (that is not a typo!), and through it all she has accepted her fate and vowed to beat this disease by not letting it rule her life. It is her never-say-die attitude that inspired me to take on this golf challenge, via a cause that desperately needs support as we try to find cures for this mysterious disease.
I doubt Kathryn knows it, but she is truly one of my heroes. I see the way she has faced life coping with this issue day-in and day-out...she will not accept defeat or let life get the best of her. Kathryn strives to improve the world she lives in and with her never-give-up personality I am convinced she will leave this world a better place than where she found it. If I can do my own small part to help that cause, and maybe provide answers and solutions to those other families facing the same challenges we are, then maybe I've done my part as well.
You might want to know how you can help me raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. The best way to do this is by clicking on the “Pledge Thru Me” or "Pledge To This Golfer" buttons at the bottom of my page(s) on this website. You can choose a Per Hole Pledge or a Lump Sum Pledge. You can also choose Bonus Pledges that are performance based (I am just an average golfer, so your bonus pledges for Birdies, Eagles or a Hole-in-One will not hurt your bank account too much and are very appreciated). You will not be providing bank account or credit card information at this time, you are only pledging your contribution. At the conclusion of the event you will receive an Email with instructions on how to fulfill your contribution to the Arthritis Foundation, and 100% of the money raised will go directly to the Arthritis Foundation charity.
Please keep checking back for more blog updates and follow me on social media as I will try to give updates throughout the day on May 15th!
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This Golfer's Participation
Brookville Country Club
May 15, 2017
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Ballyneal is a private golf club located in the sand hills of northeastern Colorado, 2.5 hours northeast of Denver.