Green is teeing off on cancer

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 7, 2000

Features Editor

Johnny Green lost his dad, Gam, to cancer in Oct. 1997. A few months later, he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

The loss of his dad and his own personal battle with cancer have moved Green to the front lines in the fight against the deadly disease.

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"When you find out you have cancer, if your priorities weren’t in order, you get them in order in a hurry," Green said.

Green had realized something was wrong, and after the death of his father, he "really got concerned."

A physical proved that his worries were not unfounded. His cancer was already in the advanced stages and he was sent immediately to M. D. Anderson in Houston for chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Then, he underwent radical surgery.

"I was told that radical surgery was my best chance to beat this thing," Green said. "I said I wanted to get rid of it – whatever it took."

Green’s surgery lasted almost 14 hours and four rounds of follow up radiation treatments were required as a preventative measure. Through it all Green maintained a positive attitude.

His greatest concern was for his mother.

"The loss of my dad and then for me to have to go through treatments and surgery – I worried about her," he said. "All of the time, I just felt like I was going to be okay."

Green has been cancer free since his surgery and, after his last checkup, the doctor said, "See you in six months."

"That was good to hear – real good," Green said. "I’m very thankful and I want to do all I can to help find a cure for cancer."

Today, Green is a survivor because of the advances that have been made though cancer research. Not many years ago, the treatments that rid his body of cancer weren’t available. The future holds the promise of more hope for cancer victims and eventually a cure will be found.

Green wants to be a part of that.

"Last year at the Survivors’ Breakfast, I decided I wanted to do something to help raise money for Relay for Life this year," he said. "My thought was to have a golf tournament to benefit Relay but I just didn’t know how to go about it."

While Green was trying to decide how to "go about it," the gang down at Gibson & Carden, P.C. was trying to come up with an idea for Relay that hadn’t been done. They, too, thought of a golf tournament.

So, the like-minds came together.

The result is Pike County’s first-ever "Scramble for Life" tournament which will be held Saturday, May 13 at Trojan Oaks Golf Course on the Troy State University campus.

All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the American Cancer Society to be used for cancer research, public education and patient services.

The tournament will be a four-person scramble. In a scramble, each member of the foursome hits a tee shot and then the team selects one of the shots to play. All members of the team may hit from that position. This procedure is repeated until the ball is in the hole.

The tournament will have two shotgun starts – at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Each round can accommodate 72 golfers and tee times will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The entry fee is $100 per player, which includes 18 holes of golf, cart usage, lunch and course beverages.

Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. The first place team will receive $600 in prize money, second place will receive $400 and third place $200.

To sweeten the pie, some fantastic prizes will be awarded to the first golfer to score a hole-in-one on three of the par three holes. The hole-in-one prizes are $25,000 in cash, a 2000 Nissan Altima (donated by Troy Nissan) and a TRX 450 ES Honda Four Wheeler (donated by Ward’s Yahama).

Aces on the golf course don’t come often but your chances are better than winning the lottery and the benefactor of your trying is the American Cancer Society.

Johnny Green has never had a hole-in-one but his dad had 11.

"And most of them came after he was 55," Green said. "So everyone who enters has a chance to win one of these great prizes."

However, the Scramble for Life promises to be a day of fun and fellowship and the greatest prize of them all is the knowledge that each participant is a warrior in the battle against cancer.

Entry forms are available at Gibson & Carden, 110 South Brundidge Street in Troy or by calling Johnny Green at 566-4434.