My dad, Wesley Dunn, 77, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in January 2007. He underwent a risky and highly invasive surgery called the Whipple Procedure (after the late Dr. Allen Whipple.) Thanks to the support, dedication and research of those who have battled pancreatic cancer in the past the Whipple is safer than ever before and can add years to a patient's life. But it is not a cure and only 4% of those who are diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer survive five years. Having watched my dad battle this disease for almost two years, it is hard to believe he is one of the lucky ones, but the average life expectancy for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is only 6 to 9 months.
I can't imagine what its like to lose a parent or a loved one that quickly and am very grateful for the extra time our family has had together. Obviously those close to a person battling disease feel an overwhelming sense of powerlessness and we each try to cope and offer support in our own ways. This journey is my way of coping. It is a way for me to honor my father, do my small part to help fund pancreatic cancer research and hopefully make a few people smile along the way.
Ultimately Golf My Way Home is a celebration of life and if there is one lesson I've learned from hitchhiking across the country its that despite all of our apparent differences there is much more that unites us than divides us and we really can count on each other. It is true that I am an optimist and a dreamer so maybe I made it all the way across the continent - 125 rides and 6211 miles - on a wing and a prayer. But maybe there's a lesson in that too... the power of believing something is possible.
The Caddie Yard is dedicated to those who literally "carried my bag" (picked me up) and includes individual descriptions of all of my rides including some stories from the most interesting and inspirational ones. I broke the trip down into a series of Maps so you can follow my exact route and see where I was picked up, region by region. I am in the process of writing reviews of each of the 37 Courses I played along the way.
Thank you to all of you who have supported this project and welcome to those visiting for the first time.
The physical journey may be over, but the project is ongoing. A book is in the works.