Golfers tee up at Lundin Links for charity pro-am inspired by young Katie

Katie Whiteford with her father, Stewart.
Katie Whiteford with her father, Stewart.

Local golf pro Stewart Whiteford, from Wellsgreen, is hosting a Charity Pro-Am at Lundin Golf Club tomorrow (Friday) in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Stewart’s daughter Katie, aged eight, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last October and it is hoped that the tournament will help raise awareness, as well as some funds, for the charity.

The field of professionals includes Alistair Forsyth, a three-time winner on the European Tour, as well as Katie’s uncle, Peter Whiteford, a European Tour Player from 2008 to 2014, as well as 20 other top Tartan Tour pros.

Each team consists of three amateur golfers and one professional and the format of the event will be ‘best 2 balls’ stroke play with full handicap allowance.

Stewart explained: “Since the diagnosis our family have had to make many changes in our lives to help keep Katie healthy.

“Type 1 Diabetes is a hugely misunderstood condition. A chronic, life threatening, auto immune disease where the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

“Now, in order to control her blood sugar levels, Katie injects insulin four times a day, wears a glucose monitor permanently on her arm and takes readings over 30 times a day.

“This will continue every day for the rest of her life.

“Simple things such as sleep-overs at friends, school parties, swimming galas, gymnastics camps or just going out for the day with the family have become a challenge and require a great deal of thought and planning.

“We constantly worry. What’s her blood at? When will she eat? What will she eat? How does she feel? What if she goes low? What is she goes high? It never stops.

“I used to come home, give her a hug and ask, “how’s your day been?” Now I come home, give her a hug and ask, “how have your bloods been?”

There are over 400,000 people in the UK living with Type 1 Diabetes, 29,000 of whom are children.

Stewart added: “This Pro-Am is all about raising money to help JDRF improve treatments and ultimately find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.”