PGA golfers' wives visit cancer patients
HOUSTON – The PGA Tour Wives Association, which holds events at children's hospitals several times a year, this week hosted a Top Golf party with kids from MD Anderson.
One of the patients, Maggie Howard, was an athlete who loved to play hard until a bone cancer--osteosarcoma--stopped her in her tracks.
Howard has an internal prosthetic. That means MD Anderson was able to salvage her leg so she looks the same on the outside but her femur and knee on the inside are artificial.
When doctors told her she had to give up sports to go easy on her leg, she was devastated.
"It's hard because they tell you, 'oh you have this, you're never going to get to be able to play your sports again.' They took me and put me on crutches and after that it was like an immediate injury, immediately on crutches, don't play this ever again," Howard said. "It was hard because I'm a competitive person. So for the whole time through my treatment all this competitiveness was bottled up in me, I'm never going to get to play sports again, 'I'm never going to get to do anything.'"
Then a trip to Top Golf gave her a new outlet.
Doctors confirmed golfing was easy on her joints and she could make it a permanent hobby. Now, she's inspired to take to the course every chance she gets.
This week, the PGA Tour Wives Association is in Houston bringing the course to her and other pediatric cancer patients
"This is our third annual year to do this with MD Anderson Cancer Children's Hospital," Tiffany Stroud said. "Depending on how they're feeling or what they're doing, they just don't get the everyday normal life like everybody else does so it's just important for them to have fun."
It's no doubt a fun trip outside of the hospital for most of the kids, which is important for their healing. But for Maggie, it's about more than that. Its another important reminder that you can find a way to recover whatever cancer robs from you.
"It's another thing that can take my mind off of all the treatments that I went through and can ease my mind that 'yes you are normal now,'" Howard said.
She recently finished her last treatment. Now she's back in school and planning to join the golf team.
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