2017 Pay It Forward Golf Classic Recipients
Amie Muller & the Amie Muller Foundation
Amie enlisted in the Air Force in 1998, she joined Minnesota Air National Guard at the 148th Fighter Wing in late 2001. Amie trained as a Military Photojournalist. In 2005 and in 2007 she was deployed to Balad AFB Iraq as part of the military Intelligence Squadron, and worked with the Weapon Systems Video program. During her time deployed, she also volunteered at the Balad Air Force Hospital, where she spent time assisting medical staff, visiting patients, and spreading joy with her infectious smile. Amie worked at Minnesota Army and Air National Guard command. In this Visual Information role, Amie created multiple foundational programs that shaped the way we honor and remember the fallen in our state. She took great pride in the programs she helped develop, and poured her heart into their creation. Amie was a model airman, a mentor and a leader who embodied all of the values one would expect from someone who dedicated her life to serving her country for 18+ years. In April 2016, Amie was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. The Muller’s believe that Amie’s diagnosis is linked to her time in the National Guard. During her two tours in Iraq (2005 & 2007), she was exposed to toxic burn pits where chemicals, petroleum, aluminum cans, paint and other things are constantly being burned. On February 18th, 2017, Amie passed away after a courageous battle with Pancreatic Cancer. The Amie Muller Foundation was started by her husband Brian in her honor to raise money for veterans affected by Pancreatic Cancer.
On January 3rd, 2017 Kennedi Hay was complaining of stomach pain and her parents thought it was her appendix. After several tests and an ultrasound in the ER, the family was told they would be going to Children’s Hospital via ambulance. The scans showed two large masses in Kennedi’s abdomen and on her right kidney. On Friday, January 6th, Kennedi had surgery to remove her entire right kidney as well as a mass on her lymph node in her abdomen that was the size of a small nerf football. After biopsy’s, Kennedi was diagnosed with stage 3 Clear Cell Sarcoma of the Kidney which only around 3% of children have. Her treatment plan consists of 9 rounds of 5 day in patient chemo treatments every 3 weeks at Children’s Hospital, along with weekly chemo infusions in St. Cloud. The chemo drug has also caused some neuropathy so she is working with Physical Therapy. February 1st, Kennedi lost all of her hair after her first round of chemo. She smiled through the piles of hair coming out. Her true beauty really shines. Her family wanted her to not feel alone so her parents and big brother Zach all shaved their heads to match her. Her grandparents did the same. She thinks she looks cool but they look weird. The family has to be extremely careful due to Kennedi’s lack of immune system and if she goes out in public she must wear a mask and gloves. Because of this she prefers to stay at home. Since her diagnosis, Kennedi’s mom Bobbi, has taken a leave from work and devoted her time to taking care of Kennedi.
Keisy & Kiara
Keisy and Kiara are not your typical 5th Grade students. Sure, they are Identical Twins which causes much confusion, but that isn’t the atypical piece. Born with a debilitating disease of Congenital Muscular Dystrophy makes them a rarity, yet, it still does not demonstrate their “uniqueness”. These two 10 year olds inspire all, from their motorized wheelchairs, with their ability to show empathy, compassion and kindness to all who meet them, in spite of a life of needing help with all their personal cares.
The simplest actions for our able bodies, become insurmountable obstacles without other’s support, yet even as Keisy and Kiara ask for a little help turning their paper over, picking up a dropped pencil, or placing a small slice of pizza in their tiny hands, it is done with humor and gratitude, and always attached with a smile, a Please and Thank you.
Recently, the Twins wanted to know how it felt to be “angry”, they truly have never felt anger in their life. Thankfully, Keisy and Kiara were born into an amazing family. Their parents, older siblings, and Personal CareAttendants have been able to surround them with a love so deep, the girls have been able to live a life full of happiness.