Six-year-old Bailey Warren of Fultondale, Alabama met her hero, 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson, on Wednesday at the Avnet LPGA Classic. Bailey suffers from the same arthritis that McPherson, who was diagnosed at age 12, deals with every day of her life.
Bailey was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of two and spends more time in doctors' offices and hospitals than playing outdoors. Her juvenile arthritis has also affected her vision causing Uveitis, an inflammatory condition that left untreated can lead to blindness. Through all the tests, chemotherapy drugs and hospitaliztions, Bailey has an infectious smile and spirit.
McPherson recently sent a letter, photo and autographed cap to Bailey from the Kraft Nabisco Championship. In the letter McPherson wrote, "And Bailey, you can, like me, be among the best in the world at whatever you want to do and wherever your heart and passion leads you." Bailey promptly grabbed her toy golf club and went outdoors to practice. Three weeks later, she was in Mobile to meet her new hero. Bailey’s mother and father, Kim and Steve Warren, and her two-year-old brother, Brody, joined her at Magnolia Grove to chat with McPherson.
“For someone like Kristy to do this, you’ll never know how much this means to us,” Kim Warren said. “It’s not just her being here today. It’s her agreeing to work for this cause and bring awareness to it.”
For more information on the Arthritis National Research Foundation, please visit www.curearthritis.org.