Children’s Walk supports young patients, connects families

10-year-old cancer survivor leads Sanford International event from hospital to golf course

A child and family carry a white fag that says "Sanford International Children's Walk" down the sidewalk.

On Sunday morning at 10 a.m., 10-year-old cancer survivor Cobey DeSchepper led a group of community members on a walk from Sanford Children’s Hospital to Minnehaha Country Club for the final round of the Sanford International Presented by Cambria golf tournament.

This walk, the first of its kind at the Sanford International, was in support of local children and their families who have been or are being cared for at Sanford Children’s.

“It’s an opportunity to have a lot of people in the same place lifting up, encouraging and supporting more families,” said Erica Krohn, tournament manager of the Sanford International. “And it’s not only the walk, it’s the experience at the Sanford International itself.”

The sports-crazy DeSchepper – he wants to be an NFL player – had a big week. The 2021 Sanford Children’s Ambassador for this PGA TOUR Champions competition was included in several events leading up to the actual golf tournament.

On Friday morning DeSchepper had the honor of hitting the opening-ceremony tee shot at Minnehaha Country Club that kicked off play for the tournament.

A few deep breaths

In preparation for that, DeSchepper was part of a press conference on Wednesday that involved Steve Stricker, the 2018 Sanford International champion who is also this year’s Ryder Cup captain.

As the captain, Stricker will be handing out advice to some of the country’s best professional golfers Sept. 24-26. On Wednesday, however, he was handing it out to DeSchepper, who wanted some tips on dealing with the pressure of hitting a golf ball in front of a bunch of people.

“Take a couple of deep breaths,” Stricker told him. “Enjoy the moment. I’d put it in your mind that you’ve hit that ball millions of times and done it well before so why not do it right now in front of all these people? Let it rip.”

Leading the charge

It would serve as good advice for all the activities DeSchepper was involved in for the Sanford International. It certainly applied to leading the first-ever Children’s Walk in support of children and families who have dealt with cancer in their lives.

“It’s pretty cool because I know how those kids feel and they know how I feel,” DeSchepper said. “I can tell them ‘Hey, everything is going to be OK.’ And maybe they don’t worry as much if they’re going through it right now. It’s nice to know I’m going to have other kids with me on the walk who have gone through the same things I’ve gone through.”

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Posted In Children's, Community, Foundation, Sanford International, Sioux Falls

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