Charity golf tournament

This two-and-a-half year old girl (Payton) was diagnosed with an  idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy at the age of seven months.
By: 
JOE WILLIAMS
Staff Writer

Last year the Gardner family faced a heartbreaking loss when they lost their baby just a couple of days before his birth.
Not long after, a family friend who wanted to help organized a golf tournament to raise money for the funeral expenses.
"I have a brand new baby, so this really hit home for me," tournament organizer Chris Gallegos said at the time.
Now a year later, the Gardner family is looking to pay it forward. They decided to make the tournament an annual event to help other families that are in need.
"We really appreciated the support we received from the community, and our friends and family," Sam Gardner said. "We wanted to keeping that loving spirit that we felt going and 'pay it forward.' There is always someone in need so we figured we would make it an annual thing and it also helps us keep the memory of our son alive."
This year, they have chosen to help a family who has a young daughter with heart problems.
Payton (now two and a half) began exhibiting symptoms of heart failure and had to be transported via life flight to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of seven months. It was determined that she had idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Her case was so severe the only way to save her life was to receive a heart transplant.
Since then she has had multiple episodes of heart rejection, a few which have required hospitalization and had two recent life-threatening episodes. In one of the episodes she suffered a severe stroke which has affected functioning of the left side of her body and she has been unable to breathe without the assistance of a tracheotomy.
Payton's future is still filled with many challenges. She had begun intense rehabilitation therapy that will continue for years to come. Associated costs for her care are approaching $3 million and continue to grow.
The 2015 Walker Memorial Golf Tournament is on July 18 at Journey's End Golf Course in Shelley. Tournament entry is $10 and all proceeds from the tournament fees will go to Payton's family. Donations are still being accepted.
For more information about the tournament or donating a prize for the fundraiser, call Sam Gardner at 208-705-4107 or Journey's End Golf Course at 357-3700.

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