Karen Stupples' Player Blog

Karen Stupples
Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Karen Stupples of England hits her tee shot on the third hole during the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club on April 6, 2013 in Rancho Mirage, California.

This week I tee it up in the U.S. Women's Open.

I only found out I was in the field  two weeks ago while I was playing in Val Skinners LIFE event. LIFE stands for LPGA pros in the fight to eradicate breast cancer.

Val set up the foundation 14 years ago in memory of her friend and our fellow LPGA professional Heather Farr, who sadly lost her battle against breast cancer at the age 28. 

The Val Skinner Foundation and LIFE pro's have been raising funds for Komen On the Go and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, with an emphasis on reaching younger women and the importance of early detection. 

LIFE and the Val Skinner foundation are launching a new program for 2013 with the Susan G. Komen, its a 3 day event called Young Women Walking or YW2.

YW2 is an event for women aged between 16-23 and is targeted to raise breast cancer awareness. The events take place every Saturday of the Komen 3 day. It involves a 20 mile walk and a reception in the LIFE  tent.  

YW2 is designed to not only educate but to activate their advocacy for research. 

Now to my part, I have played in Val's pro-am for a number of years now and listened to brave young women talking about breast cancer, early detection, new research. I've heard about young women's lives being cut short before they really have a chance of a full life. I've played with highly talented doctors and motivated fund raisers.

I myself am a daughter of a breast cancer survivor and about a month ago I found a lump in my right arm pit.  

My first response was with language I can't write down, my second was to call Val.

She very wisely told me to call Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey here in America.

Two weeks later I saw Dr. Toppmeyer, she conducted a number of tests and gave me some very good news. It was a benign, a swollen lymph node.

I must point out that had I not been to the LIFE pro-am I would not have been so proactive in seeking advice.

Early detection was imprinted on my brain. 

So what now? As I said I was playing in this year's event I got a phone call from the USGA informing me that I had gotten into this year's U.S. Women's Open and I got to thinking about major championships and major causes and if these young women in the YW2 event are walking 20 miles, I will be walking that in both the U.S. Women's Open and Ricoh Women's British Open.

So, I will play my tournament rounds with a pedometer charting my steps and I am asking you to consider sponsoring my steps or making a donation?

My aim is to not only raise funds but also awareness for this new program and to give a tiny bit back for the help that Val and Dr. Toppmeyer gave me.

For just under two weeks I walked in the shadow of breast cancer now I will be walking to eradicate it. 

To make a donation please go to valskinnerfoundation.org and click donate. 

If you are coming to watch either Open I will be easy to spot as I will be wearing a fairly bright pink hat in honor of the women who have fought and lost their battle with this terrible disease.


Topics: Player Blog, Stupples, Karen

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