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Links Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament




Monday, May 12, 2014


This year marks 18 years of friendly competition and sportsmanship to help find a cure.  Join us on Monday, May 12, 2014 when 200 golfers will tee off at The Tribute and Old American Golf Clubs for the 18th annual Links Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament!  Click here to become a sponsor or register your foursome today and choose which course you would like to play on, first come, first serve.  


tributegc.jpeg  oldamerican.jpeg
           The Tribute Golf Course                               The Old American Golf Course

The courses sit side-by-side but offer a unique feel on each course.  The Tribute Golf Club's design was inspired by the greatest holes from renowned courses at St. Andrews, Troon and Prestwick in Scotland.  The Old American Golf Club is representative of classic American golf from the early 1900s. 

The Links Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament has raised more than $2.8 million in the last 17 years to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).    The generosity of sponsors, golfers and other patrons  has played a significant role in helping LLS in achieving its mission of curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improving the quality of life of patients and their families.


Since the tournament started more than 17 years ago, doctors have made life-changing break-throughs in blood cancer research.  Below is a list of milestones that have been reached since Bob Barker and Jim Willis started the Links Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament:

  • The year the tournament started, LLS-funded researcher Brian Druker tested a drug directed at curing CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia).  The drug, now called Gleevec, increased the five-year survival rate from 5% to 90%.
  • Since its approval by the FDA, Gleevac is now being tested for patients without blood cancers.  Researchers hope it will help patients with breast, brain, lung, nerve, ovarian, prostate and thyroid cancers.
  • An LLS-funded researcher identified a chemical in a toe anti-fungal drug that is now in clinical trial to help AML (acute myeloid leukemia) patients.
  • LLS-funded researchers are now working towards what's considered the "holy grail" of blood cancer research - targeted therapies.  The goal is to target the cancerous cells without impacting the healthy cells.  LLS-funded researchers are making major strides that will not only save blood cancer patients lives but also improve the quality of their lives.
  • The good news is - the work is ongoing.  Of 39 new cancer drugs approved by the F.D.A. since 2000, almost half (19) were approved as treatments for blood cancer patients, and many of these were advanced with LLS support. 

Jim Willis was diagnosed with ALL in March of 1994.  The news of his diagnoses came when his oldest child was two and the second was on the way.  A 34 year old Jim and his wife Margaret had just moved into a new home two weeks earlier.  Jim underwent a bone marrow transplant in May and leukocyte transfusion in November, his younger sister as the donor each time, but sadly, Jim lost his battle with leukemia in June of 1997. 

Jim was born in Austin and grew up in Borger, Texas.  He attended and graduated with highest honors from the University of Texas in Austin where he majored in business and earned both BBA and MBA degrees.  Following his graduation in 1983, he was employed by Arthur Andersen where he worked throughout his professional career.  Jim and Margaret dePingre married on November 3, 1990.  Jim was actively involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Dallas Cystic Fibrosis Society and was also a member of the Texas Society of CPA's.  He is remembered as a tender-hearted, loving, patient gentleman of highest Christian moral principles who loved his family dearly. 

Bob Barker began his journey with AML in May of 1991.  Bob and his wife Deborah met in 1984 and were married in July of 1985, looking forward to many wonderful years of martial bliss.  No one could have imagined that just a few years later, when Bob was having trouble running the bases during a softball game and struggled to walk the course at the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament that a few days later he would be diagnosed with AML.  Bob and Deborah had their world turned upside down.  Bob had his first bone marrow transplant in September of 1991 which was successful; however, the leukemia returned and in April of 1992 Bob became a pioneer in the Dallas community, as he was the first to have a successful donor leukocyte infusion as an outpatient.  Bob received the wonderful news that he was in remission in June of 1992; however, the battle was not done.  Bob has been dealing with chronic Graft versus Host Disease since that time.  Bob has continued to fight and win with the help of his faith in God, Deborah's unending support, incredible doctors, family and friends, and more prayers than they could ever count.

Bob's giving heart and unending perseverance was recognized in 2004 when he received the Byron Nelson Volunteer of the Year Award.  He was also the recipient of the Heart of Gold Award from the Saint Valentine's Day Luncheon & Fashion Show and the Inspiration for Life Award from the Arizona Link's Fore Leukemia Golf Tournament in 2005.  Bob's love for the game of golf and his heart's desire to find a cure has been a driving force behind the tournament. 

To get involved in this tournament as a golfer, sponsor or volunteer, please contact Emile Blaine, Senior Director, at or call (972) 996-5932.

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last updated on Wednesday, November 13, 2013