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Washington golfer survives cancer, gives back!



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In the world of golf there are many levels of success from making your high school team to winning the masters.

But, in life, one of the most challenging battles is overcoming a deadly disease. Ian Rinken has done just that. He's a cancer survivor. And now, he's helping out kids who are facing the fight of their lives.

For some, like Ian Rinken, swinging a club comes naturally. He may have fell below his expectations finishing 15th in the boys high school tournament this year.

I was a little disappointed in my in my tournament play. But, otherwise I scored pretty well in most of my meets," said Ian Rinken.  

But, long before Rinken was playing with some of the best in the state, he dealt with an obstacle more challenging than the longest par five filled with bunkers.    

"When I was three I was diagnosed with ALL. It's a form of leukemia," said Ian Rinken.

The news was hard to swallow for the family of the now senior at Washington High School.

"She comes to me in the evening one night, at about 10 o'clock. She said, I hate to even say it but, the symptoms fit Leukemia," described Ian's father Doug Rinken.

Ian Rinken, strong today, went through 38 months of chemotherapy.

"It was hard. I felt really weak all the time and couldn't really do much other than sit inside my house and play video games," said Rinken.

After a while the game he started to play when he was two started to bring him out of the house. And after more than 3 years of cancer treatments, Ian began to get stronger.

"I think it inspired me. It made me think about how short life could be and how much of an opportunity I had to really excel in this sport," said Rinken.   

Now after an impressive high school career, Rinken looks to give back to the organizations that helped him and his family during their fight with cancer.

On Sunday, October 14 the first ever Rinken Rounds For Cancer will tee off, in efforts to raise money for kids who are dealing with situations Ian and his family had to deal with.

"I just think a lot of kids can do what they really want to with their life. Even if they have gone through a struggle or are going through a struggle," said Rinken.

A winner before he even tee's up at the first hole. Ian Rinken looks to give others the same chance he had; to win one of life's toughest challenges.
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