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DEAN & DELUCA Invitational's impact extends beyond tournament week

Antonio with his family.

January 7, 2018

Editor's Note: The PGA TOUR and its tournaments generated more than $180 million for charitable causes in 2017, elevating the all-time giving total to $2.65 billion.  To celebrate this milestone, we are sharing stories of how charitable dollars raised by TOUR events benefit people in their local communities.  The following are stories from charities supported by the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.

Trying to figure out how to help a child experiencing behavior issues, color blindness, hearing loss, ADHD, and dyslexia would be a challenge for any parent. It also typically becomes a recipe for classroom disruption and even expulsion from many schools.  For Wendy Brown and her son, however, the teachers at Chapel Hill Academy and counselors at Lena Pope were instrumental in helping to make a difference for her son, Antonio.

“School has been very difficult for him,” Wendy expressed. “Instead of turning their backs on my son, the teachers and staff have helped mold him and worked with him and loved him.”

Lena Pope provided diagnostic testing, family and individual counseling services and created a behavior and education plan specific to his needs to help him thrive in the classroom and at home.  “Your services truly make a difference and our lives would not be the same without Lena Pope.”

Ariana sat at the top of the challenge course tower and looked out across the tree-tops of Camp El Tesoro. She took a deep breath and confidently yelled ‘ZIPPING!’. After hearing the ‘zip on’ response, she leaned forward and flew down the cable, smiling from ear-to-ear.
A first year camper who prides herself on liking to try new things, Ariana selected challenge course, outdoor cooking and drama as her three activities. It’s impossible to pick a favorite, but going down the zip line for the first time was definitely one highlight to her week.
“I feel really safe here. I like that when you walk across the bridge, it’s like you’re separated from the whole world,” Ariana said.
Feelings safe is important to Ariana. Her mother and step father recently married, which created a large blended family. With five children, two of which have constant medical bills, extra funds are impossible to come by. Ariana’s mother will never receive child support from Ariana’s father, who is in prison. While the family is working towards being financially stable, they just couldn’t afford to send their children to camp this year without a little bit of help.
While Ariana loves her morning activities, she said her favorite part of camp was spending time with her cabin – pulling pranks on other cabins, making new friends, rest time and swimming. If she absolutely had to pick one favorite part of camp, she said it might just be the food. She was hooked after they served her favorite meal on her first night – lasagna.

Keith was 28 years old and newly married.  Jason was a 20-year-old college student.  Both were shocked to hear the words, “You have cancer.” 

Cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death in adolescents and young adults (AYA’s).   Teens and young adults with cancer often have delayed diagnoses.  They don’t go to the doctor soon enough, or their doctors miss their symptoms because they do not fit the typical profile of a potential cancer patient.  There are 2.5 times as many 16 to 29-year-olds diagnosed with cancer each year as children, but there are no dedicated facilities or resources, research agendas, or support services focused on this population.  Every year in the twenty county region surrounding Fort Worth, approximately 235 fifteen to twenty-nine years olds are diagnosed with cancer.  Once diagnosed, AYAs face unique treatment and psychosocial issues.

Imagine being a 28-year-old man with a wife and a toddler.  You are in a hospital room with cartoon characters on the wall.  The patient in the room next door is a kindergartener.  In the bathroom, you are too tall for the shower head and the sink is too low.  The nurses are a bit awkward with you because they are used to treating patients your son’s age. 

Or maybe you are a 20-year-old college student.  Your world has recently been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis.  You have gotten used to being independent at college, but now your parents are trying to be with you all day every day.  Counselors are talking to you about your future family plans since your treatments will affect your fertility. 

Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center is a proud partner of the Fort Worth Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Coalition (FWAYAOC); a group that brings together teen and young adult cancer patients, survivors, health professionals, and the community in a unified effort to support young people before, during, and after cancer.  Our medical center was chosen as the location for the first AYA community-based oncology unit of its kind in the United States. 
All Saints Health Foundation, whose mission is to support the work of Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center - Fort Worth, has secured donations for the capital improvements necessary to complete the AYA unit and to assist with the operations of the unit, including funding the salary of a nurse navigator who acts as a guide, resource, advocate, educator and liaison for the patient. Birdies for Charity has enabled patients like Keith and Jason to be provided with services designed to meet their unique and important needs.

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