Chris Pendley had to sit out his junior year on the football team at Dacula High School in Georgia. He couldn’t practice, he couldn’t hit anyone, but he was always there.
In the spring of 2011, Chris had been diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft- tissue cancer of the abdominal and groin area. He went through twenty rounds of chemotherapy, twenty radiation treatments, and several surgeries, but through it all, he continued to support his team, and he continued to show up for everything.
In the end, Chris conquered his cancer, and was even able to see some playing time his senior year, but he had other dreams as well. He wanted to meet professional golfer Bubba Watson, and it was up to the Courage For Life Foundation to make it happen.
At the end of May 2013, Chris and his family were flown to Dublin, Ohio to attend the PGA Memorial Tournament. During an early week practice round, Chris was finally able to meet Bubba Watson. Chris and his family walked one of the holes with Bubba and he even let Chris putt on one of the greens. Bubba had lost his father a few years ago to cancer, so he asked Chris about his health, but mostly they just talked about golf and “stuff.”
Chris plans to spend two years at Georgia Gwinnett College before transferring to the University of Georgia, Bubba’s alma mater. Chris wants to become an anesthesiologist someday. He has lots of big dreams, and one of them just came true.
Bubba Watson did something truly memorable at that tournament in Ohio, and it had nothing to do with his golf game. He gave Chris Pendley a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a day he will always remember, and that is what the Courage For Life Foundation does as well. We help high school athletes who have faced a life threatening illness create memories to last a lifetime. And that is like hitting a hole in one.