Golf tournament raises money for pancreatic cancer
DUNCAN, Okla._ Golf lovers took to the greens Friday in Duncan for the 6th annual Celebrity Golf Tournament.
The tournament is hosted by the Duncan Regional Health Foundation each year in an effort to help those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Since conception of the charity event, it has helped raise nearly $175,000. That money is used to help patients pay for gas, hotel expenses and whatever else is needed to get them to their treatment destination.
Jim Edwards battled pancreatic cancer ten years ago, and unfortunately last year he was re-diagnosed. But, despite the devastating news, he says it isn't stopping him from helping others.
Jim and Mary Jane Edwards have been married for 43 years, and said some of their darkest times together were spent on his road to recovery.
"He had never heard of pancreatic cancer coming back after five years and after nine I was re-diagnosed and he can't believe it and we can't either,” Jim Edwards said about his doctor.
That's why he says he wanted to help those fighting his same fight.
"The support that we give is not just for pancreatic cancer it's for any type of cancer, so we are not exclusive to pancreatic, it's just the type of cancer I have and that is why we call it he Pancreatic Celebrity Golf Tournament,” said Edwards.
One of Friday's celebrities, former OU kicker and NFL player Uwe Von Schamann, said he's glad to be a part of such an important cause.
"It's an easy thing for me to do to play golf and have fun and also support a charity,” said Schamann.
Each year, the golf tournament raises up to $35,000. Edwards is thrilled to see how much the tournament has grown.
"Without the community, there wouldn't be any money, there wouldn't be any support, it'd be us. It takes everyone to make it happen,” said Edwards.
Now that Edward's cancer has returned, he encourages cancer survivors to always be vigilant and get their yearly exams.
"No matter how old you are you should always go every year and that's why I'm still here; that and my wife and my daughters who just harped on me and harped on me to get my yearly physicals. This is my wife Mary Jane and she is number one care giver along with our kids, family, friends, and all. Without them, it'd be tough. I don't know how people go through it alone,” said Edwards.
Friday's tournament was dedicated to a friend of theirs who lost her battle to pancreatic cancer just two weeks ago. Edward's mother also lost her life due to the same type of cancer.
The proceeds will also help fund several high school and nursing scholarships.
According to the American Cancer Society nearly 49,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year.