The Kindness of a Golf Pro Enabled Our Daughter to Golf

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by Jackie Babiarz |

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Everywhere we go, my 13-year-old daughter, Cammy, leaves an imprint. People gravitate to her. They want to help her participate like everyone else, in whatever capacity they’re able. I find this often while we vacation. When people greet Cammy or ask her a question, we are quick to educate them that she speaks with her eyes. We then hand them a Rett syndrome awareness card, which provides information about Cammy, how to communicate with her, and how Rett syndrome affects her. This extra piece of information seems to draw in people more.

Recently, we traveled from Illinois to Arizona for spring break. We stayed at a resort, which had a beautiful golf course. The first morning, Cammy and I sat outside the hotel lobby, on the patio, watching golfers tee off. I asked her if she wanted to golf, and her eyes looked away from her iPad and directly into mine to indicate “yes.”

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I walked with Cammy to the golf pro, Alex, and introduced ourselves. I asked if there was any way Cammy could hit some balls. He smiled and told us about a practice area that no one really knows about, so we would have it all to ourselves. Alex kindly asked questions about Cammy’s dexterity to help serve us. He brought out a club and colorful golf balls that he thought Cammy would like.

I wheeled Cammy to the deserted practice area. It was perfect for us. We were able to listen to Cammy’s music, wheel her chair around the green, and take our time putting. Cammy enjoyed it more than I expected her to.

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Cammy enjoys putting at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa. (Photo by Jacqueline Babiarz)

The next day, we returned to the secret spot with my husband, Billy, and younger daughter, Ryan. We played a scramble, an informal game, which everyone enjoyed. It was wonderful to have an activity at the resort when we were up so early.

The third day, I hesitantly asked Alex if there was any way Cammy and I could ride in a golf cart while Billy and Ryan played nine holes. He smiled big, looked at Cammy, and said, “Of course!” She smiled back and made eye contact as her way of saying thank you. Alex prepped the carts, then watched over Cammy’s wheelchair as he waved at us driving off to the first hole.

This experience gave our family a piece of normalcy. We were all able to hang out on the golf course. Cammy and I drove along in the cart as the cheerleaders and photographers while Ryan and Billy had a fantastic time golfing. When we returned, Alex was so happy that Cammy had had fun. While we thanked him profusely for taking care of us throughout the week, I imagine Cammy’s smile and joy were all he needed.

Note: Rett Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Rett Syndrome News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Rett syndrome.


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