At the 2019 Memorial Tournament, eight Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champions joined the world’s best golfers, NFL players, and local celebrities for a day of fun. Patient Champions are honored for their fighting spirit during their treatments. They represent the thousands of patients from all 50 states and 45 countries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The day before the Memorial Tournament, Peyton Manning joined Tiger Woods in meeting the Patient Champions at the Nationwide Invitational Pro-Am. These children and their families were treated to a VIP experience full of autographs, photos, and the famous Muirfield Village Golf Club milkshakes.
“To get to go behind the ropes and play with Tiger Woods or Jordan Speith was awesome, but at the same time you’re raising money for this great cause for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” Peyton Manning said. “That’s what Nationwide is all about.”
“Seeing the incredible things that they are doing at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital was inspiring,” said Kyle Rudolph, Nationwide’s Charity Challenge recipient. “When you leave there you constantly want to do more for these children.”
One Patient Champion was honored with the 2019 Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award. Matthew McClish, a recent West Jefferson High School graduate, suffered from a brain tumor and epilepsy at a young age that caused him to become paralyzed on the left side of body. After extensive rehabilitation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, McClish taught himself to golf using one hand and returned to his school’s golf team for his senior season.
Reigning Memorial Tournament champion Bryson DeChambeau surprised McClish after the Pro-Am with a set of new clubs and a one-on-one lesson.
“One thing I always think about is challenges make life interesting but overcoming them makes life meaningful,” said McClish. “I have overcome almost everything and that has made my life meaningful cause I get to do all this stuff and meet all these people. I’ve gotten really lucky.”
Nationwide Sports Marketing programs have raised more than $33 million for the hospital in total since 2011.
“Nationwide Children’s does incredible work literally touching the lives of thousands of people from all over the world and assisting young people as they are dealing with challenges that many of us couldn’t imagine,” said Terrance Williams, president of EBG and CMO at Nationwide. “We try to use our sports platforms to shine a spotlight on the hospital.”
Nationwide is committed to broadening the impact of its sponsorship of the Memorial Tournament to bring greater awareness and increased funding to Nationwide Children’s and to those who benefit the most – families and children in need of care.