Relive the fun of this year's Mott Golf Classic, held on June 1st, 2015.
Relive the fun of last year's Mott Golf Classic, held on June 2nd, 2014.
All images copyrighted by Steve Kuzma Photography
Pictures from the 2013 Mott Golf Classic
The Mott Golf Classic Committee was honored to have six-year-old Peyton Domzalski as our special guest at the 2013 Classic, and we are grateful to the Domzalski family for sharing their story.
Leanne Domzalski has the unique perspective of being both a caretaker and a caregiver. She chose her career as a nurse because of the impact the medical profession had on her family, especially her youngest child, Peyton, who was born with Spina Bifida.
Peyton was born in 2006 at a community hospital and then quickly transported by ambulance to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Leanne doesn't take that convenience of being close to Mott for granted. She says, "We are super fortunate to be so close. I won't move out of Michigan because of Mott."
Spina Bifida is a birth defect in which the spinal bones do not form properly around the spinal cord. Peyton has Myelomeiningocele, the most severe form of Spina Bifida, meaning that the spinal cord and nerves come through the gaps between the bones.
Leanne calls the weekend Peyton was born as "their lucky weekend" because they met Dr. Hugh Garton, Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, for the first time. He performed Peyton's first surgery. Dr. Garton has a special bond with Peyton, and the Domzalskis respect and appreciate him immensely because of his hard work and dedication.
Six years and ten surgeries later, the Domzalskis still feel very fortunate that Peyton is able to get care at Mott Children's Hospital. They are grateful to Dr. Michelle Caird, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, who has performed all of Peyton's orthopaedic surgeries and has helped him to stand and even walk. They also credit Dr. Liza Green, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, for her integral role in Peyton's care and all of her work to coordinate and plan surgeries and services. The Domzalskis appreciate all of the staff, who constantly prove their investment in helping patients and families.
Leanne had always hoped that the surgeons could one day help Peyton stand, so she is thrilled at his progress: he can now walk with assistance! Peyton is an active kid who enjoys life. He plays baseball in the Plymouth Miracle League, but his favorite sport is golf. He can spend hours hitting golf balls.
As a nurse in Mott Hospital's Pediatric Cardio-Thoracic ICU, Leanne has seen firsthand how the Mott Golf Classic has helped Mott patients and families. She says, "The Ronald McDonald House within the hospital helps relieve parents' anxiety. If parents get a phone call in the middle of the night, they can go in their slippers to their child's room." She has also seen how social work's support has helped families in need. The Mott Golf Classic's support of social work programs helps families with day-to-day financial challenges.
As a mom and as a nurse, Leanne has witnessed the kind of care the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital can offer families, and the changes it can make in a child's life. She is grateful that her son and family had access to the "very best" care possible.
Thirteen-year-old Grace Simons was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby. She has a bright personality and is always ready with a smile for everybody, but her condition makes everyday communication a challenge. Grace takes in outside information at grade level, but it is difficult for her to communicate back out to others.
A group of Michigan engineering students, led by computer science professor Dr. David Chesney is hoping to help Grace and other children like her. With funds provided by the Mott Golf Classic, these students work to design software that helps Grace express herself, describe her emotions, and communicate effectively with those around her. Dr. Chesney's class has previously developed systems for Habitat for Humanity and for people on the autism spectrum, but Grace's participation with the group helped students design solutions for a specific individual's needs.
"There's a huge difference between content and context," says Dr. Chesney. "The content is the academic pieces and parts that I have to put together to call it a four-credit class at the University of Michigan. The context is what Grace brings to the class. I really think students fall in love with this area of study and with this type of work because of the context. Always in the back of their minds, there's the [idea] of 'How would someone that's differently abled have access to this thing that I'm working on?' I think the gifts have come more greatly in the opposite direction, from Grace to the students, than whatever possible the students could contribute to Grace's life."
The Mott Golf Classic is proud to help support initiatives like Dr. Chesney's work and technological advancements for children like Grace.