Leslie Gudel and her children got into the car when she saw the tweet. Gudel shrieked.
“Holy (explosive), Nick (explosive) Faldo sent you a golf lesson!”
Gudel was talking – or exclaiming – with his 16-year-old daughter, Kendall Kemm, who had gone viral. Gudel had posted a video on his Twitter account of a session on Sunday’s golf course in which Kemm was seen crossing her back with one arm, her right, and hitting a straight shot down the fairway. Gudel is felt off-camera, quite impressed.
It worked quite well.
Kemm has lost the use of his left hand after undergoing radiation treatment for a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a rare condition in which there is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that connect the arteries in the brain. This was the second time that Kemm had returned to the golf course in five years; she had taken a lesson last week and then went on Sunday to hit some balls when Gudel turned on the camera.
Five years ago my daughter, Kendall, lost use of her left hand after having radiation to treat her brain #AVM. Last week she embraced the idea of learning to play one-handed & had her first lesson. It will take some time but she’s on her way #proudmom #resiliency #avmsurvivor pic.twitter.com/gOBtxmomq5
— Leslie Gudel (@lesliegudel) July 26, 2020
As of Wednesday night, the video had been viewed over 986,000 times and the tweet had 49,200 likes.
After the video took off, someone tagged golfer Nick Faldo, winner of six major championships and three Masters tournaments. Faldo was inspired, so he shared some suggestions.
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) July 28, 2020
“It’s crazy,” Kemm told US sports TODAY on Wednesday. “I’m used to my mom posting things on Twitter about me and my brother, but getting the reaction this way is so nice because I don’t like to say I have an AVM or say I can’t do things because I don’t want to be different. Making people say these things is so beautiful and rewarding because I hope I can inspire other people and that they act in their lives with things like that. I love it. “
Kemm and his family created Kendall’s Crusade, a foundation that increases AVM awareness and offers donations for research and patient funds.
Kemm first fell in love with golf six years ago, but it would be four months after he set foot on a golf course that would have had what his family thought was his first hit on October 25, 2014. Kemm later found out he had two previous ones. Kemm suffered another one during last year’s holidays, but Gudel said it was “very minor” and “did no harm”.
Kemm quit golf for several years while undergoing treatment.
Gudel said Kemm remains at risk of having another stroke, but that his condition has improved significantly, to the point that sports have returned to the scene.
Once she recovered enough to play, Kemm started playing softball and had fun, but found that the speed of the game became a little too fast to play with one arm.
Two years ago, Kemm also launched the first pitch before a Major League baseball game at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, after it was revealed that Cleveland pitcher Josh Tomlin’s father had an AVM.
Seeing things like this makes me realize how small my problems with my injury are and how thankful I am to still be able to compete at a high level https://t.co/HTlJW30EBK
— ⚡️Michael Worthington⚡️ (@Mjworthington2) July 26, 2020
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With softball no longer practicable and since Kemm has always loved sports and had sought an outlet to engage in his athleticism, Gudel recently asked his daughter if she was interested in returning to golf. Kemm didn’t hesitate.
“This is my message for her as a mom, ‘OK, what are you going to do?'” Gudel told USA TODAY Sports. “He wants to be normal, you know? Normal share not listed. She is a teenage girl. He doesn’t feel so normal many times. It is difficult for her with that hand, she is sometimes embarrassed by it. Having a sport that can continue and feel normal to you is so beautiful. Let us not consider these things as obstacles. Let us consider them as opportunities. ”Wednesday Kemm took another golf lesson. For the time being, she plans to continue playing golf, especially for one reason: she is not entirely satisfied.
“Everyone keeps saying,” Oh, you’re playing golf, it’s great, “Kemm said before returning to the course.” I keep telling them, ‘A lesson. A lesson. I just had a lesson. But I want to continue follow him and improve because I know there is potential for me to improve. Because I know myself and I know this is not the best I can do. “
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