A chance meeting changes lives

BY ELIZABETH WHITTINGTON
PUBLISHED: MARCH 24, 2011
We love hearing from survivors and caregivers we've interviewed for past CURE articles. That's why we were so excited to hear about the continuing good news that Bob Hammer is doing with his Have a Ball Golf Tournament in Northern California (www.haveaballgolf.com).

We featured Bob, a two-time testicular cancer survivor, back in 2007 after he and his wife, Kim, created the Have a Ball Foundation and golf tournament ("Having a Ball" CURE Spring 2007). With many non-profit organizations, it started small, but Bob happily told us this afternoon that they were close to hitting the $1 million mark -- and in just under six years.

That's a lot of zeros for a seemingly "small" golf tournament. And one with no celebrity, he's quick to point out. He also wants "to honor all the folks who have helped us reach this goal," he says. It's a pretty big accomplishment for Bob, Kim and all the people who have helped with the foundation and tournament. Let me be one of the first to offer a pre-congratulations!

Bob's story is pretty amazing. After finishing chemotherapy, Bob raised enough money to participate in Lance Armstrong's annual "Ride for the Roses" in Austin, where he met Lance's oncologist, Craig Nichols. With his advice, Bob made a medical decision that allowed him to conceive his son, who turns seven this year.

From the 2007 article: "At the time, we were just grateful for the daughter we had, so we didn't store sperm," says Hammer, 38. "But then, we were faced with the surgery and no chance to have any other children." Hammer's medical team, along with Dr. Nichols, re-evaluated his scans and determined the suspicious areas in his remaining testicle were scar tissue and surgery wasn't necessary. Two years later, the Hammers welcomed their second child, Josh.

"When Josh was born, I wanted to give back to the LAF [for putting me in the right place at the right time]," says Hammer, who today is cancer-free. Believing he could use his professional skills to raise money for the LAF and other cancer organizations, he established the Have a Ball Foundation (www.haveaballgolf.com) that holds an annual golf tournament in Sunnyvale, Ca., complete with corporate sponsorships and donations.

The rest is history. The organization has now helped 20 local & national cancer institution with the money they have raised. He also wanted to share some of the accomplishments the Have a Ball Foundation has made since 2005:

> Sent over 50 children with cancer to attend Camp Okizu, a camp for kids with cancer in Novato, Ca.

> Donated over $250,000 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to provide grants for cancer research and programs.

> Established and awarded five oncology nursing grants in honor of Dr. Fred Marcus through Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Ca. and the U.C.S.F. nursing program.

> Formed Cancer Alliance Program with Sequoia Hospital to raise awareness for cancer through TV, radio, billboard and pamphlets that will be distributed in several hospitals.

It's amazing that such a chance meeting could affect so many lives, not just Bob's and his son's, but also all of the other lives he has touched with his foundation.

Bob Hammer, Lance Armstrong, Kim Hammer

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the General Discussions CURE discussion group.
x-button
Special Feature
Share Your Art
Related Articles
BRCA Mutations May Cause Drug Resistance in Breast and Ovarian Cancer
There is a relationship between the genetics of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and the risk of a patient with breast or ovarian cancer being resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy, according to recent research conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study’s senior author Katherine Nathanson, M.D., spoke with CURE about these findings.
Sarah Sciortino on Fertility and Sexuality in Younger Patients with Ovarian Cancer
Sarah Sciortino, MSW, LSW, Oncology Psychosocial Support Services Program Coordinator at University of Chicago Hospital, discusses the unique concerns that younger patients with ovarian cancer can face.
Caring With Confidence: Study Examines Caregiver Mastery and Patient Survival in GBM
A recent study found that the level of family caregiver mastery may have an effect on the survival of patients with glioblastoma.
Related Videos
Examining Quality of Life Issues for Patients With MPNs
Sandra Allen-Bard, MSN, ANCC, AOCNP, of Weill Cornell Medical Center, discusses the impact myeloproliferative neoplasms can have on patients' quality of life.
Elliott Winton on the Changing Landscape of MPN Treatment
Elliott Winton, M.D., researcher, physician and 2016 MPN Hero, discusses some of the drastic changes that happened over the past decade or so in the world of MPNs. 
Siddhartha Mukherjee on Increasing MPN Awareness
Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D, an oncologist, researcher and Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer, discusses the increasing awareness about myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).
x
//For side ad protocol