For far too many families, both in the United States and across the world, one simple statement can change their world forever. All too often, “you have cancer,” echoes from inside of doctors offices; and in an instant, a cloud of doubt can be cast upon the future.
Such was the case for the Danielson family in 2009, when matriarch Karen Sue was diagnosed with Stage 3B inflammatory breast cancer. Instead of dwelling on the unfortunate situation that their family now faced, Dave Danielson, Karen’s son, sprung into action.
“When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt like I couldn’t do anything, really,” explained Dave. “I wanted to do something.”
Drawing inspiration from his mother, Dave decided to take the circumstances his family faced and use it as a platform. To use their story to help others. It was with that in mind that he founded Caring for Karen Sue. In his mother’s honor, and with the help and support of the rest of his family, the charity hosts an annual golf tournament. The goal of the Caring for Karen Sue Golf Classic is two-fold; not only does it raise awareness for breast cancer, but it also partners with the Shiloh House to help children in need.
“Obviously raising awareness for breast cancer [is a goal of ours], because that’s what we started off to do.; but also to raise awareness for the kids as well,” stated Danielson. “Foster kids, troubled youth and at-risk youth, they get a bad rap sometimes. They are not bad kids, they just need help… they need love.”
Coming from a foster home himself, Dave Danielson was adopted by Karen when he was six years old. Coincidentally, Karen’s parents were Dave’s original foster parents. Now, he has the opportunity to continue his family’s mission, returning the love he was shown; continuing to make a positive impact on future generations.
“That’s what my mom did, and that’s what my grandparents did.”
Sadly, Karen Danielson lost her battle with cancer in 2011, but, through the effort of those that she left behind; her legacy lives on.
“She’s the most amazing person I have ever met. She was my hero. She always will be,” said Dave. “She was so loving… had such a big heart. If somebody needed help, she was always there.
I’m just keeping up that promise that I made to my mom that we’re going to keep this tournament going for as long as we can.”
The tournament, which will be held at Applewood Golf Course in Golden, Colo. on Sept. 12, is now entering its sixth year. Featuring a tournament, lunch, silent auction and a raffle, it raised $9,895 in 2014 alone; with which the all-time total raised surpassed $60,000.
Last year, in an effort to raise even more for the cause, Dave offered to shave his head if they were able to gather an additional $500 (which they did). This year he is upping the stakes, offering to do something a little more extreme.
“We’ve got ‘mohawk for a month” that we actually started a couple of months ago,” he said. “If we raise $1,500 between now and the day of the tournament, I will dye my hair pink and shave it into a Mohawk.”
If you are interested in supporting Caring for Karen Sue, there are many ways to get involved. At $100/per player there are still spots available to participate in the tournament. You can also sponsor a hole for $200. If golf is not your thing, you can join them for lunch for $25. Donations are also still being accepted for the raffle and silent auction. It is imperative that you act quickly however, as the deadline is Sept. 1. You can click here to make a contribution.
“I think that carrying this on and donating everything to the Shiloh House, which does deal with foster care and foster kids; she’s definitely looking down on us right now as a family and she’s very proud.”