Streelman, Lebioda visit Give Kids the World Village as part of Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
March 06, 2020
By Jamie Handy, PGATOUR.COM
- March 06, 2020
Kevin Streelman and Hank Lebioda visit Give Kids The World Village
It's a loss that has been difficult to cope with.
Bellah, who was adopted in the Orlando area as a child, battled a condition for over 10 years of her life. She was a longtime patient at the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital, and had become well known to the staff. Bellah was loved by anyone who had the chance to meet her. Locally, she was also an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network. After passing away just over six months ago, Makaylah, her older sister, has had difficulty in the journey of life without her.
Makaylah went through a similar upbringing as Bellah.
It’s been a tough road since.
The sister’s parents had also adopted Makaylah at a young age. At just three weeks old, Makaylah became a patient at Arnold Palmer Hospital. Further, having her first surgery at only four weeks old, Makaylah has had to overcome milestones over her 16 years from the care of the doctors at Arnold Palmer Hospital.
Although life has not been easy for her, she has recently started to learn a new skill to put her focus and energy into – golf.
In the fall of 2019, Makaylah began to pick the sport back up after not playing for a while. Her grandfather, Jim Awtrey, was the CEO of the PGA of America prior to retiring. With the connection to the sport and her recent loss, learning golf has helped to bring joy back into her life.
For Makaylah, golf has made a positive impact and given her something to look forward to. Aside from professional sport, the family activity had always been playing putt-putt. This week at Give Kids the World Village during the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Makaylah and her grandparents joined in for a day of fun.
Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit resort in Orlando, Florida, provides children with critical illnesses and their families a weeklong, cost-free vacation. Families from all over the world are given the opportunity to experience life outside of the hospital at the resort. One of the activities is the putt-putt course.
While playing their round, Makaylah and her family were in for a surprise. PGA TOUR players Kevin Streelman and Hank Leiboda joined in on the fun, and spent the rest of the day together with Makaylah.
“I’m trying to get through this, but as a father of a six-year old and four-year old, I see what these families go through,” Streelman said. “Here, they have a place for hope and joy. It’s just pretty amazing.”
This was an afternoon I will never forget. Thank you Pam and everyone at the Give Kids the World Village for all that you do and for making us feel so welcomed. You are an inspiration to me and my family will do all we can to support your incredible cause— Kevin Streelman (@Streels54) March 6, 2020
Topping off the event with other families at Give Kids the World Village, Makaylah and her family – and Streelman and Leiboda – made a trip over to the ice cream parlor.
If what she has gone through wasn’t enough, Makaylah feels so strongly about paying it forward that she’s now on the Teen Leadership Council at the Arnold Palmer Hospital. Through this, Makaylah wants to give back and help the experience for others be as it was for her.
Though it has been a whirlwind of a year for her and her family, Makaylah has turned a new hobby – and day at Give Kids the World Village with a couple of TOUR pros – into a connection that means so much more.
“The timing of this event was a sweet gift,” her mother, Julie, said, “and one I know was a blessing for Makaylah.”