WLRP Golf Course Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Is it spring finally? Are you thinking of warmer days, adventures under the sun, and getting out on the golf course? The Wakaw Oldtimers Hockey Club is hosting its seventh annual Swinging for Sarah Golf Tournament on Friday, June 23, 2023, at Wakaw Lake Regional Park. The success of this tournament is dependent on many man-hours spent organizing everything from food to prizes, the donors who support the tournament financially or with prizes for the golfers or the raffle table, and the golfers who take part and make the event the success that it is.

First organized by the Wakaw Oldtimers Hockey Club in 2015, the Swinging for Sarah golf tournament came from a desire to help ease the financial burden that the Biccum family faced in bringing their daughter Sarah home after surgery for a brain tumour caused multiple complications that left her unable to move or communicate and completely dependent on others for every aspect of her life.  Months in hospital had failed to bring significant improvements to Sarah’s condition and bringing her home meant she could be surrounded by her family instead of medical personnel. The family used funds they received from this tournament to continue with various therapies and purchase equipment to make Sarah stronger and make her fight a little easier. “We cannot imagine where we would be if this was not an option”, shared Sarah’s mother Aleda in an email regarding the upcoming tournament.

The Swinging for Sarah Golf Tournament has helped not only the Biccum family but other families as well with ties to the community. Since that first tournament in 2015, Swinging for Sarah has raised over $70,000 to help families deal with their medical journey whatever that may be. The funds provided to families give them the opportunity to have hope. It can allow them to seek medical options or to simply breathe by relieving some of the financial strain that comes with a life-altering medical crisis. Although the Biccum’s have moved to Saskatoon to make travel to medical appointments and therapies easier, it is still their hope that this tournament will continue for many years to come as they know what a blessing it is to those who need it. While they and the Wakaw Oldtimers, hope no one ever needs to add their name to the recipient’s list, as that means their life has changed drastically, the continuation of the tournament will mean that funds are there for any who need it. 

Businesses and individuals can donate to the event, and contributions of a prize or a monetary donation can be as simple or as grand as one wishes. All contributions are appreciated and definitely make a difference. Sponsors of the tournament will be recognized through advertisements at the event and on the Swinging4Sarah Facebook page. Anyone wishing to contribute can contact Mike Burechailo at 306-213-8100 or at hawkeedad@gmail.com, Sheldon Jacobson at 306-233-7531 or at sjac2288@gmail.com, or Aleda Biccum at swinging4sarah@gmail.com. For anyone who is interested in participating as a golfer on June 23rd, the entry is $125 per person which includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, supper, and a prize giveaway.

Sarah has continued to grow stronger and stay healthy. After her family noted that she was tracking movement both with her eyes and her head, the neurosurgical team was willing to explore some options for Sarah. A battery of tests that showed a favourable response opened the door for deep brain stimulation surgery. This surgery was carried out at the end of November 2022, and as early as three weeks post-surgery, her range of motion showed improvement. While there are no guarantees on what results will come from the surgery, the improvements already noticed have given her family hope and renewed energy to continue to fight to give her the best possible life she can have.

Sarah’s story reminds us all that, in her mom Aleda’s words, “life is something we can not take for granted, in a fraction of a second life can change, sometimes for the worse and others for the better…No one knows what the future holds, but when illness strikes, many of us are taken by surprise, our norm has been disrupted, and on occasion the outcome is unimaginable. But we continue on, adapting as we need to and sometimes it means [receiving] help from others.”

By Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 29, 2023 at 19:35

This item reprinted with permission from   Wakaw Recorder   Wakaw, Saskatchewan
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