16-year-old “Succeeding Together” essay contest winner relies on her “go to” team of supporters to help overcome health, and life, challenges

Health hazards can’t hold back teen golfer

The 16-year-old Succeeding Together essay contest winner relies on a “go to” team of supporters to help her overcome health, and life, challenges.

April 12, 2015

“It’s OK to be different,” says 16-year-old Grace Vaughan of Chesnee, South Carolina. “I’m not the only one who has this.”

“This” is a blood disorder that Grace, the grand prize winner of Wells Fargo’s 2015 Succeeding TogetherSM essay contest, was diagnosed with at the age of 3. She lacked the stamina of most kids and often didn’t feel like she fit in. But then she discovered Camp Courage. The nonprofit camp is run by the Children’s Cancer Center of Greenville, South Carolina, where she met kids with similar medical conditions — and similar challenges.

Grace Vaughan of Chesnee, South Carolina, with her parents, April and Jay.
Grace made this bracelet at Camp Courage and says she has never taken it off.
Grace helps coach a class of younger kids at The First Tee of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties, in Inman, South Carolina.
Grace works one-on-one with Chloe Brown to help her master her swing.
Denise McKenna Reisner, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Greenville Children’s Cancer Center in Greenville, South Carolina, has known Grace since she was diagnosed with a blood disorder at the age of 3.
Grace’s brother Jake visiting her during a hospital stay several years ago.
Grace Vaughan of Chesnee, South Carolina, with her parents, April and Jay.
Grace made this bracelet at Camp Courage and says she has never taken it off.
Grace helps coach a class of younger kids at The First Tee of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties, in Inman, South Carolina.
Grace works one-on-one with Chloe Brown to help her master her swing.
Denise McKenna Reisner, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Greenville Children’s Cancer Center in Greenville, South Carolina, has known Grace since she was diagnosed with a blood disorder at the age of 3.
Grace’s brother Jake visiting her during a hospital stay several years ago.

Grace also got involved with the The First Tee, a nationwide program that aims to build character in young people through golf. So when she learned of the organization’s essay contest, she knew exactly what she would write about: “At Camp Courage I finally found myself. I made lifelong friends there, my Go-To Team, who understood what I was going through and helped me to stand up to my bullies,” Grace wrote.

Grace will play with the PGA TOUR player of her choice in the pro-am round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 11-17. You can read the essays of all 10 finalists on the contest page.

Watch the video to learn more about Grace.

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