On Saturday the University of Kentucky announced that sophomore golfer Cullan Brown has withdrawn from school for the upcoming year to begin immediate chemotherapy. Brown was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
"My family and I are immensely appreciative of the outpouring of kind words, well-wishes, love and prayers we have received in the last few weeks from family, friends and the Big Blue Nation," Brown said in a statement. "It certainly will be a tough year, but nothing that can't be handled thanks to the amazing support group I have behind me at all times. Even though I will not be with my team in person this year, I will be there in spirit every time they compete, which I have full faith they will continue to do with the upmost integrity, passion and excellence."
Brown was an All-SEC performer in his freshman season in Lexington, posting a 72.42 scoring average in eight events. He also made the cut at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship (played in Nicholasville, Ky., just 30 minutes from campus), finishing T-53.
"Our hearts are hurting for Cullan and his family," said Brian Craig, Kentucky head coach. "I honestly do not believe God has ever created a young man as unique and special as Cullan. His love for people and his giftedness are extraordinary. We, as a team, could not love him any more than we do and we will stand with him through this challenge with fervent loyalty, support and prayer."
A GoFundMe page has been established by Wildcat teammate Jay Kirchdorfer to assist Brown and his family with medical expenses.
"Only 400 people per year are diagnosed with this form of cancer,"Kirchdorfer writes. "This cancer was found in the form of a tumor in his left femur bone. Recent tests have shown that the cancer has not spread to any other part of his body, which is great news. The doctor has high hopes for a successful treatment, calling Cullan’s case 'treatable and beatable.' The current treatment plan is to undergo chemo sessions for about 11 weeks before performing surgery on the femur bone. After surgery, chemo sessions will continue for another 18 weeks.
"The Brown’s are facing an emotionally challenging road ahead. We would love your help in providing some financial support, as the family will be spending a majority of their time focusing on Cullan’s health and well-being. As many of you can understand from personal experience, medical expenses can compound over a period of time. Providing this support would lighten the financial burden of this situation, which would be a blessing for the Brown’s. Also, we would really encourage you to share this page to help in the effort to support Cullan and the Brown’s during this journey."
To make a donation to the "Birdies For Brownie" drive, visit here.