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News Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PGA Genesis pre-game with Hunter Mahan and Chandler Smith

Pro golfer and patient ambassador enjoy a few holes before the Genesis Open

When Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles' patient ambassador, Chandler Smith, was offered a chance to participate in the PGA Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club, and meet Hunter Mahan, winner of two world golf championships, he could not refuse!

Chandler has been a patient at the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital since he was 18 months old. Chandler’s condition, proximal femoral focal deficiency, resulted in a bone deficiency that prevented him from developing a leg bone. After consulting with physicians, occupational therapists and physical therapists, his parents decided that having his leg amputated, and receiving a prosthetic leg and foot would help Chandler and give him the best quality of life possible.

As Chandler grew, nothing stopped him from participating in sports. Our certified prosthetist orthotist created different prosthetic feet that were designed for specific purposes, such as running, versus hiking. Despite his apparent limitations, Chandler says he was born to be an athlete. In addition to running and hiking, Chandler took on wrestling; and played soccer, golf, basketball and lacrosse, so we knew he would be up for the challenge to play alongside a PGA pro golfer, Hunter Mahan.

Chandler spoke to Hunter about his condition, struggles and how his parents and Shriners Hospitals for Children always supported and encouraged him to become an athlete and to never let anything hold him back.

Chandler and Hunter played a few holes at the historic Riviera Country Club course and bonded over their love of sports and golf. It was a wonderful experience for both the patient and pro golfer and something we hope to continue participating in. 

Hunter and Chandler with Chandler's familyHunter and Chandler walk the course