Overcoming Obstacles with Golf: Golfing for the Gals Annual Fundraising Event

(left to right) Carrie Dobbins, Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump, Lisa Milligan, and Dr. Paola Gehrig

(left to right) Carrie Dobbins, Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump, Lisa Milligan, and Dr. Paola Gehrig

Golf is a mental game. A player needs patience and dedication to execute the correct swing for the ball to reach its goal. This sport also requires managing obstacles put in place to hinder the player’s score.

When Lisa Milligan was a young girl, she dreamed of becoming a professional golfer and although that career path did not happen for her, she has gained so much more through overcoming her own personal obstacles and now focuses on giving back through the sport she loves.

In April 2017, Milligan was diagnosed with stage II uterine (endometrial) cancer after a long battle of symptoms. Under the care of Paola A. Gehrig, MD, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she underwent a complete hysterectomy, pelvic radiation, and brachytherapy. Milligan is now a three-year uterine cancer survivor.

Dr. Russell Broaddus at Golfing for the Gals fundraiser event

Dr. Russell Broaddus at Golfing for the Gals fundraiser event

Milligan expresses how her cancer journey, although frightening, resulted in her feeling a tremendous gratitude towards her care team and a newfound empowerment. She emphasizes the importance of “listening to your body” and being aware of possible symptoms for uterine cancer, particularly for post-menopausal women. Although uterine cancer is the third most common cancer in women, it is traditionally one of the lesser funded cancers with little public awareness.1

Upon learning this information, Milligan felt the spark to begin fundraising in 2018 to change that. “It was time to make a difference and help fund the critical work of cancer research, education, treatment, and care,” she says. Milligan organized her first Golfing for the Gals event in September 2019. The start of the global Covid-19 pandemic provided more obstacles for Milligan to navigate.

“The difficulty that I faced planning and hosting this event during the pandemic was not unlike the adversity confronted by many cancer survivors. Nonetheless, I persevered and held the event safely and successfully…Golfing for the Gals is my way of making that difference in North Carolina.”

Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump speaking at Golfing for the Gals fundraiser event

Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump speaking at Golfing for the Gals fundraiser event

Milligan hopes this event will continue to grow and make a positive impact to increase awareness and funding for uterine cancer research. Milligan would also like to thank Dr. Gehrig and Victoria Bae-Jump, MD, for their support of this event.

This year the Golfing for the Gals annual event will be at Governors Club in Chapel Hill, NC on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with all funds donated to University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill.

1 “Uterine Cancer Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE)”. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Accessed 2021.