Members of the Ladies European Tour wore green badges during the first round of the Deloitte Ladies Open, printed with the words: fight, Cass, fight!
They are sending a message to fellow tour professional Cassandra Kirkland, who is undergoing treatment in France after being diagnosed with lung cancer in mid-April, following the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
Cassandra, who won the Sanya Ladies Open in China on the Ladies European Tour in 2012 and claimed another title at the Fourqueux Ladies Open on the LET Access Series in 2013, is happy to tell her story. “I want to be an example and show that being an athlete is really a help in surviving what I am going through,” she said. “I am really touched that the players will wear a badge for me. It gives me a lot of strength to feel the support from the girls.”
Cassandra was one of the most health conscious players on the tour. She never smoked, rarely drank alcohol and was fully committed to healthy eating and keeping fit. Over the pre-season training period this winter, she was in the gym for three hours a day to prepare for the 2015 golf season, but everything changed when she was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease.
Diagnosed in April 2015 with a lung cancer, I stayed away from competition to take care of myself. I was able to enjoy some time with my family. What a change when you have been traveling so much the last 15 years. I went from a nomadic way of life to a stable life in a second. I have to say that it was not easy at the beginning. Both lives have advantages and downsides. I have to admit that at the beginning it was tough not to travel around the world. It is not a problem anymore. I am happy to be able to travel wherever I want and not for professional obligations. So happy to enjoy time with my family and enjoy life.
I love to play golf with my friends for fun. I don’t take it too seriously, I laugh about my golf, which would never happen before. I took a step back, and see life so differently. It took me time to put things in perspective. I realized when I went to play the “Lalla Meryem cup” in Rabat this year. When I took the decision that I would play, the old Cassandra came back very quick. It was disturbing as I realized my desease had not changed me which I thought it did. Despite my situation, i wanted to perform. I will not hide that I thought ” It would be incredible if I won”. I have always been a real competitor and a perfectionist. I always focused on small details, but most of all I did not allow myself many things.