Every hour of every day, someone dies of melanoma in the U.S. Melanoma strikes people of all ages, races, and economic levels. One in 75 Americans will develop melanoma during their lifetime. It is the fastest rising cancer in the U.S. and the most deadly. It is also the most highly preventable, and treatable, if caught early.
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The Hack n’ Smack is the fulfillment of a promise made to Kerry Daveline by his friend, Kevin West, to combine their shared passion for golf with the fight against melanoma. Kerry, an actor-singer, was known for his sense of humor, his Notre Dame baseball caps, and his habit of talking to strangers, who very often became his friends.
In 1998, Kerry discovered a small new bump over his ear, which the doctor assured him was a cyst. Months later, when the growth became larger, Kerry had it removed and only then learned that he had melanoma. Because of the size of the tumor by then, he was diagnosed at Stage IV - the last stage.
Kerry had always been good at life, and for the next four and a half years, between painful and debilitating surgeries and treatments, Kerry continued performing, traveling and attending Notre Dame football games. He proudly golfed his best game ever after a particularly difficult course of radiation. Throughout his battle, Kerry kept his friends and family, as well as his doctors and nurses, laughing.
Kerry lost his fight with melanoma at home on January 4th, 2003. Kevin kept his promise, and the first Kerry Daveline Memorial Celebrity Golf Tournament was held the following year. At the dinner following the tournament, Kerry’s friends sang the Notre Dame Fight Song. In 2005, at the 2nd Annual event, Kerry’s infant twin daughters who never met their father, made their first appearance at the tournament. They’re now committed for an annual play date, in Daddy’s memory.
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