How To Help

To contribute to the Ranken Jordan junior golf program or to ask any questions please e-mail me at This blog is not affiliated with Ranken Jordan. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and not those of Ranken Jordan. Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Out of the Wheelchair

Miraculous.  Inspirational.  Awe inspiring.  Amazing.  These are only a few of the words that anyone at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, staff, patients, family, visitors, etc., may hear or use on any given day.  The words can be used to describe the patients, staff, and/or facility.  Some of you who regularly read this have been to Ranken Jordan and know exactly what I mean.  I encourage those of you who haven't been to schedule a tour to go visit.  I promise you before you finish the tour you will be speechless and trying to figure out how many different ways you can help.

As I mentioned, those words at the beginning of this post can be used to describe the patients at Ranken Jordan.  One of those patients is one of our "regulars" for golf every week.  That same junior golfer will usually ask the therapists to get the clubs out at other times for a little bit of extra practice.  Every week we see the smiling teenage face of one of our most avid, dedicated golfers.  Some might think being in a wheelchair would cause some issues as it relates to hitting a golf ball.  Still others would be concerned that playing right-handed one week and then switching to left-handed the next week would increase the difficulty.  Anyone who things either of those things would be very wrong.  This is one junior golfer who does not allow a wheelchair to get in the way of grooving a good putting stroke or adding distance to the driver.

On May 10 we will be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the first golf clinic at Ranken Jordan.  When our teenage junior golfer got to the golf clinic today the celebration started a bit early.  Very recently the therapy program was changed for this constantly smiling youngster.  The new program included time out of the wheelchair and standing up for the first time of their life.  I first learned about it last week when between shots I was asked if next time they could hit golf balls while standing.  Today we made that wish come true.  Once the tee time arrived, it was out of the wheelchair, into the stander, grab a putter, and start sinking putts!  There are no words to describe my emotions when I saw that.  Suffice it to say I was thankful for my sunglasses to hide the tears.

This is the second time I have been fortunate enough to experience something like this.  People who know me will not believe that I was totally speechless both times.  There are literally no words that can adequately describe what you are witnessing.  Through conversations with both junior golfers I know that golf played a small role in getting them out of their wheelchairs.  To whatever extent golf helped, I am very humbled to be allowed to be there and part of such a miraculous moment.  As we come up to our 3 year anniversary of the golf program I look forward to more experiences like this and more times I am thankful to be wearing sunglasses.

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