Larry Mair’s memory lives on in golf tournament
Twenty-two years ago, a family came together on a golf course to remember their father, husband and friend. Now, 22 years later, the Larry Mair Memorial Golf Tournament has been helping families facing adversity with cancer and disabilities, first hand.
Larry Mair passed away from colon cancer, and according to Nicole Meyers, one of Mair’s daughters, it was just one day after their father’s funeral that the family, along with their friends Craig and Rhonda Lloyd, decided to get together for a game of golf to do what their dad did best make light and fun of a hard time.
It was on that golf course that the close-knit circle of Larry’s loved ones hatched a plan a plan to give back to the community and reach out to families who were dealing with exactly what they were.
“The first 10 years we did the tournament, we raised funds for the American Cancer society,” says Meyers. “Then we decided we wanted to help local families. We have helped families with cancer, families with learning disabilities or developmental delays, we’ve even seen a family purchase a new house for their sons who had specific living needs.”
Meyers remembers helping a specific family with the loss of their loved one and friend named Tracey Lane. Now, members of the Tracey Lane Foundation are regular contributors to the golf tournament. As are many other members of the community.
“We have always been so amazed at what our sponsors provide for this tournament. Whether its monetary donations, or prizes for our games and auction it’s just amazing that we’ve been doing this for 22 years already,” says Meyers.
And now, it’s a passionate routine of giving everything on and off the green for a family in need.
This year’s honored guest is Jessica Julig-Weedman, of Winnebago, who has a husband, Eric, and two spunky little children, Lincoln and McKinley. She also has chronic stage IIIb ovarian cancer.
And, this is not Jessica’s first cancer rodeo, either.
In 1999, when Jessica was just 15 years old, she was diagnosed with a clear cell sarcoma tumor in her left leg. The teenager underwent surgery to remove the mass and went through 15 rounds of chemotherapy. The side effects of which were so severe, Jessica only spent a total of 36 days in school during her sophomore year of high school.
And 16 years later, Jessica graduated with a doctorate degree in nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner and started working at Mayo Clinic Health System as an NP in family medicine.
In 2016, Jessica started to experience fatigue and other physical symptoms, including abdominal pain, explaining away the symptoms to her active living style. Thanksgiving of that year, Jessica’s symptoms became even more prevalent and assumed the pain was appendicitis.
Her family packed up and headed to the emergency room.
This is what Jessica’s gofundme page has to say about what was found:?”CT scans later revealed a large mass in Jessica’s pelvis, along with a bowel obstruction. Suspecting possible cancer stemming from the ovaries, her doctors decided to transport Jessica by ambulance to Rochester for further care. Her CA-125 level, which is a blood test that assesses the presence of ovarian cancer, was significantly elevated. At that point, it was determined that the mass was most likely cancer and they needed to act quickly to assess the situation. Jessica underwent surgery the next day where her doctor learned that the cancer was very advanced.”
The doctors described the cancer as a “sticky mass that was adhered throughout her abdomen, small intestine, large intestine, bladder, liver, diaphragm, and stomach.” It was too advanced to attempt to have a successful surgery to remove the cancer, so several biopsies were taken, including almost three litres of fluid, and placed an ileostomy in Jessica’s abdomen to divert her large intestine around the obstruction she had.
They later found out that Jessica’s cancer was a stage IIIb low-grade serous ovarian cancer. There currently are no effective chemotherapy treatments, rather, they are treated with surgeries and medications.
As Jessica and her family battled the obnoxious cancer, it proved itself powerful as the tumor did not shrink, though did not grow any larger. It was there to stay.
Until Feb. 2, when Jessica underwent surgery to remove the four-pound tumor from her pelvis. The surgery, itself, lasted nine hours. Along with the tumor went Jessica’s spleen, parts of her small intestine, large intestine, sigmoid colon, bladder, stomach and diaphragm, along with a full hysterectomy and appendectomy.
Now, only two percent of the cancer remains in Jessica’s liver and small intestine.
Just as Jessica was getting back on her feet, the carnivorous cancer, too gained its momentum back as doctors found another bowel obstruction. Doctors decided to reverse the ileostomy and reconnect Jessica’s insides to allow her to eat, drink, and sleep more comfortably.
Now, the Julig-Weedman family are beginning to see less of the hospital and more of each other, though Jessica has not been able to play with her kids and care for them as she once did. The impact of Jessica’s chronic, life-threatening cancer will always hold as a heavy cloud over the small town family.
But there is always hope, and the Larry Mair Memorial Golf Tournament wants to add to that hope for the Julig-Weedman family by honoring Jessica at the tournament.
The tournament, located at Minn-Iowa golf course, is already full, but Meyers says all are welcome to honor Jessica and participate in other games and revelry the evening will have to offer. The event goes from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. with a dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. Meyers adds the dinner seats are filling up quickly and will need to be claimed by Monday, Sept. 11.
To claim a seat at the dinner table, or to make donations, contact:
-Nicole Meyers, 621 E. 13th Street, Blue Earth, MN 56013 (507-525-3577)
-Danielle Mair, 17064 Forfar Court, Lakeville, MN 55024 (651-271-7989)
-Mindy Tavernier, 1444 Blueberry Lane, Hastings, MN 55033 (612-202-7343).