Calgary golfer fighting lung cancer receives exemption into Charity Classic

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Calgary master golfer Steve Blake is nary alien to reliable battles retired connected nan course.

But past September, up of a scheduled tee time, nan 56-year-old learnt of a conflict that changed his life.

“It was a nagging cough I had during past summertime for astir apt a month-and-a-half aliases so, and conscionable benignant of kept getting a small worse,” Blake said.

“I was scheduled to play play connected this 1 Friday and was each dressed and fresh to go, and conscionable that greeting felt for illustration a small spot worse than it has been.

“I said, ‘Alright, let’s get successful a car,’ (and I) drove to nan infirmary alternatively of nan play course, reasoning that hopefully we’ll conscionable get successful and retired of there, who knows, and still make tee time.”

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Sixteen hours later, Blake was sitting successful nan emergency room and was fixed nan news he had Stage 4 lung cancer.

“It’s 1 of those things that’s a life-changer for not only you, but your family, your community.”

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The golfer was fixed a prognosis of 12 to 24 months by his oncologist.

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“I really grabbed clasp onto that and said, ‘I want this to beryllium nan starting point. I’ll spot you successful 24 months and past we’ll talk different prognosis if you sewage different 1 for me.’

“As devastating arsenic thing tin sound, I deliberation if you judge you tin conquer something, you will, particularly if you person bully support unit and family, friends,” Blake said.

Golf pro Steve Blake, who has been fixed an exemption to play successful nan Rogers Charity Classic PGA Champions circuit arena successful August, looks retired complete nan Canyon Meadows play people successful Calgary, Wednesday, May 22, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh. JMC

Blake is 1 of Calgary’s champion golfers. In 2018 he qualified for nan U.S. Senior Open successful San Diego, wherever he played alongside immoderate of nan games greats including Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.

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“Golf being specified a immense portion of my life… I sewage to support playing, I sewage to find a way.”

It took Blake 5 months aft his test to prime up nan play clubs again.

After making a number of adjustments to his plaything and his clubs, his eyes are group connected this year’s Rogers Charity Classic astatine Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club.

“Being capable to look guardant to thing for illustration this does truthful overmuch for me, you know, mentally, physically, everything.”

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Blake received a sponsor exemption to participate successful this year’s tournament.

“Giving 1 of Calgary’s apical elder golfers, who needs nan support of our full organization correct now, nan opportunity to play successful beforehand of his friends and family is not only highly rewarding but supports this mission,” said Charity Classic executive head Sean Van Kesteren.

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And contempt having undergone 7 rounds of chemotherapy truthful far, Blake’s woman Kelly still has precocious expectations of her husband.

“We still person a batch of laughter and a batch of jokes, tons of sarcasm, tons of competition. Yeah, he whitethorn beryllium sick but I expect him to triumph this tournament.”

Blake is now savoring each infinitesimal retired connected nan play course.

“It really comes down to a prime and a belief. You person to judge you tin get past this aliases astatine slightest unrecorded arsenic agelong arsenic you tin pinch it.”

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