Ashlyn Oswald, 16, a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Shreveport, from Baton Rouge, will have the experience of a lifetime in November when she represents the local hospital at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, an official PGA TOUR event in Las Vegas November 5–6.
Ashlyn was chosen as one of 22 patient ambassadors throughout the country to represent the hospital network at the tournament, where she will serve as a standard bearer on the weekend, carrying the scores of a group of professional golfers as they compete in the tournament. It is a rare “behind the ropes” opportunity at the PGA TOUR event, as well as a chance to share how Shriners Hospitals have helped transform her life.
“I’m really excited to have the chance to represent my Shreveport Shriners Hospital at the SHC [Shriners Hospitals for Children] Open and have the opportunity to meet patients from other Shriners Hospitals throughout the country,” Ashlyn said. “And to do it all while being up close and personal at a PGA TOUR tournament and getting the chance to meet professional golfers makes it even more exciting.”
Ashyln is no stranger to the world of sports. As a nationally competitive gymnast, she spent over a decade pursuing her sport, when she suffered a major spinal injury while competing. After several years spent searching for medical care that would address her debilitating spine condition, Ashlyn and parents Dr. Michael and Laila Oswald found Shriners Hospitals for Children — Shreveport. There, physicians had the expertise to perform a complex procedure to protect her spine and relieve her constant back pain.
Free from the limitations her condition posed, Ashlyn has a bright future full of possibilities. Recently relocating from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to her native North Carolina, Ashlyn has found a new passion for acting and has already performed in several projects and commercials. She loves spending time with sisters Alison and Melina (twins age 9) and Sara (age 18), as well as her pets.
As part of her participation in the tournament, Ashlyn’s story and photo will appear in the tournament program and her information will be shared with the Golf Channel, which will televise the tournament nationally. The broadcast reaches over 700 million homes across 240 countries worldwide.
“The purpose of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is to not only bring PGA TOUR golf to Las Vegas, but more importantly, to bring awareness to the great work of Shriners Hospitals for Children and the work those hospitals do to help transform the lives of children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, cleft lip and palate and spinal cord injuries,” said Adam Sperling, executive director of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. “We thought that bringing more of the hospital’s patients to the tournament and giving them an opportunity to experience some of the best golfers in the world would be a great way to increase the involvement of the hospitals and the patients in this event.”
About the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open:
The 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open brings the FedExCup to Las Vegas as the PGA TOUR returns to the Las Vegas valley for the 33rd consecutive year. Many of the top golfers in the world will participate in the competition and help support the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children, from October 31–November 6 at TPC Summerlin. For more information, visit shrinershospitalsopen.com.
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