Young brain cancer survivor treated to a special day at the WGC-Cadillac Championship
March 5, 2014
DORAL, Fla.- Jack Rolle has beaten brain cancer, but at the age of 15, he hadn't yet learned to drive.
"What better place to start," said Hunter Mahan, "than in someone else's car?”
After arriving at Trump National Doral on Wednesday morning, Jack was treated to the day of a lifetime thanks to Make-A-Wish, Cadillac, the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and one of his favorite players, Mahan.
The first stop was the exclusive player locker room, where Mahan gave a quick tour that ended at his locker and with a surprise for Jack: a locker with his name on it right next to Mahan’s, loaded with gear from Under Armour, including new kicks and a hat to replace the one Jack was wearing that featured “that other” golf apparel company.
From there, the two new buddies went for a tour of the PING equipment truck so Jack could see exactly how Mahan’s clubs are fitted and cared for on the road. But Mahan had another trick up his sleeve, as the “Hunter Mahan” staff golf bag and new irons the equipment specialists were working on were really for Jack, an avid golfer now that he’s in remission.
What could top that? Fast forward to Jack and Mahan being dropped off at Donald Trump’s helicopter – parked just off of No. 18 at Trump National Doral – where Jack was told he was heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway to participate in the Cadillac V-Series Challenge.
“On this?” Jack asked, as the day of firsts was just getting started.
Jack – along with his father, Christopher – and Mahan enjoyed the 12-minute flight, taking “Helicopter Selfies” as the rest of Jack’s family (mom, Tracie; and his three brothers, William, Nicholas and Christopher) had a 40-minute car ride – in style, of course, in 2014 Cadillac Escalades – to Homestead.
Once on site, Tracie nervously watched as Jack was put behind the wheel for the first time to compete against Mahan in several driving and performance tests.
“I just got him well, don’t hurt him!” she said, half-jokingly.
Jack and Mahan competed in a timed drag-strip test (Jack won) and took part in a lead-follow experience in which an instructor leads the drivers around Homestead-Miami Speedway, calling out instructions and driving tips via radio. The icing on the cake was a high-speed trip in the Cadillac CTS-V Racecar, the vehicle that won the Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturer’s Championship, with professional racer Andy Pilgrim.
By the end of the hour-long experience, Tracie had forgotten her fears long enough to suit up for her own trip around Homestead with Pilgrim, topping out at speeds of 150 miles per hour.
“Being able to spend some time with a great kid like Jack is what it’s all about,” said Mahan. “He’s been through a lot and his family’s been through a lot. If I can be a part of making a wish come true, it’s really a special experience for me, too, and I hope it was a great day for him.”
By the smile on Jack’s face as he climbed back aboard the Trump Doral Helicopter with his three brothers and Mahan, it was mission accomplished.
In addition to the special morning with Mahan, the Rolle family is enjoying week-long VIP passes to the Cadillac Championship and sat in on press conferences with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory.
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