Giving back in so many ways: RJ’s story

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We see it every day, either in the news or perhaps through someone we personally know. The triumphs and tribulations of life are everywhere, and at times, it can seem that the universe is against those facing problems. The one way to solve it? Perseverance.

That’s exactly what a Twin Valley High School (Penn.) student did.

RJ Wren was born with a brachial plexis injury, which affects the nerves in his left shoulder and arm. His mobility was very restricted and after an unsuccessful surgery, it seemed as though there would be no relief in sight.

But then RJ and his parents were directed to Dr. Scott Kozin, M.D., a nerve specialist surgeon with Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia. After performing an arthroscopic shoulder release, RJ regained movement in his shoulder and arm, allowing him a much more normal lifestyle.

RJ is 15 years old now and has a very bright future in front of him. He is so grateful to the Shriners Hospital and Dr. Kozin that he has decided to use his love of golf, which he developed around age 7, to raise money for the Shriners Hospital for Children so other children may be able to be healed with the latest technology available. It’s called Birdies for Charity and RJ raised $4,700 for the Shriners in 2013 with 64 birdies. His golf resume has already taken off, with potentially no end in sight.

What does this have to do with Mesquite, you might ask? Everything.

Wolf Creek Golf Course hosted the golfing world’s stars on Tuesday. From left to right, Wolf Creek co-owner Cory Clemetson, PGA Professional Trevor Immelman, RJ Wren, PGA Professional Padraig Harrington and Wolf Creek General Manager Darren Stanek. Photo courtesy of Wolf Creek Golf Course.

Wolf Creek Golf Course hosted the golfing world’s stars on Tuesday. From left to right, Wolf Creek co-owner Cory Clemetson, PGA Professional Trevor Immelman, RJ Wren, PGA Professional Padraig Harrington and Wolf Creek General Manager Darren Stanek. Photo courtesy of Wolf Creek Golf Course.

One of RJ’s dreams has been to play Wolf Creek Golf Course, known to be one of the top golf courses in the world. And on Tuesday, he did just that, with two of the PGA’s finest golfers, Pádraig Harrington and Trevor Immelman. Along with RJ’s father, Russ, the foursome set out on the rough-terrained course for what Nancy Hewett, Executive Assistant at Wolf Creek, says “He had the time of his life!”

RJ first learned of Wolf creek while playing a video game back in 2008/2009 that included Wolf Creek Golf Course as one of the courses.

“I didn’t think it was a real course,” said RJ. “When I found out it was, I just knew I had to play it.”

With a film crew tagging along, RJ was able to live his dream and play the course, walking away with memories that will last a lifetime.

“We are just so thrilled to have had this opportunity to help out,” said Cory Clemetson, co-owner of Wolf Creek Golf Course. “It’s truly an honor to help the Shriners and bring RJ’s dream to life.”

RJ talks with a film crew from the PGA Tour Tuesday while playing at Wolf Creek. Photo courtesy of Wolf Creek Golf Course

RJ talks with a film crew from the PGA Tour Tuesday while playing at Wolf Creek. Photo courtesy of Wolf Creek Golf Course

As if Wolf Creek wasn’t enough, RJ went back to Las Vegas to play in the Pro-Am Championship at the Shriners Open being held at TPC Summerlin. RJ will play alongside Jared Brentz, the 2013 and 2014 Paralong Drive Open Champion (who will also be competing this weekend in Mesquite for the Paralong Drive Worlds Championship), and Kim Moore, who is currently the Head Golf Coach at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. All three have been patients at the Shriners Hospitals for Children and continue to give back whenever they can. Together, they are the Shriners’ Dream Team.

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