If you are a follower of golf, you’ve probably never heard of MacKinzie Kline. Hopefully, after this you will remember the name.
MacKinzie is 15, has been playing golf for almost a decade and last year she was ranked the number 1 female golfer IN THE WORLD for her age.
What’s more impressive is the 750,000 dollars she has raised for the Children’s Heart Foundation since she became their national spokesperson at the age of 10. Why? Because MacKinzie Kline suffers from a disease called Heterotaxy syndrome, in which she is missing the right ventricle of her heart.
As a result, she doesn’t have as much oxygen flowing to her blood as a normal 15 yr. year old so, when she plays golf or does any other form of activity, it’s as though she’s exercising at an altitude equivalent to the Rocky Mountains, always struggling to breathe.
That’s why, on the course, she is allowed to ride a cart and to take oxygen after almost EVERY shot. She has had three heart surgeries, the latest almost eight months ago, but looks forward to the day she is able to play competitively on the LPGA Tour. She is not playing junior events anymore and has no college plans.
You see, according to doctors, no single-ventricle patient has played competitive sports through their teen years and she technically has a seriously shortened life expectancy. There is no long-term data on anyone with this type of disease living beyond 20 or 30 years of age. Patients can live that long but, according to doctors, they are not sure she will be able to continue her dreams at that point.
So, she perseveres, arising everyday at 5:30, at her tutor’s by 6:15, practicing for hours on her golf game afterwards, dreaming, hoping for that chance to realize her dreams, before they are gone. And, despite all this, she wants to be known for her talent and hard work on the golf course, not as “the Heart Girl.”
MacKinzie, I’m sorry, but your story is ALL ABOUT HEART.