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Joey Bush gets her golf ball back after winning battle with lung cancer

Joey Bush of Toronto is seen here on Hole No. 10 during the second round of the 2017 Canadian women’s mid-amateur and senior golf championships Wednesday afternoon at Humber Valley Resort golf course.
Joey Bush of Toronto is seen here on Hole No. 10 during the second round of the 2017 Canadian women’s mid-amateur and senior golf championships Wednesday afternoon at Humber Valley Resort golf course.

Joey Bush has been a competitive spirit all her life so she was determined to live up to a deal she struck last year when lung cancer gave her the fright of her life.

Bush, a Toronto native, is an avid super senior golfer who is representing her province at the 2017 Canadian women’s mid-amateur and senior golf championships at Humber Valley Resort golf course.

She had the upper right part of her lung removed by a surgeon on Sept. 2 of last year. The week before her surgery she was competing in the same national women’s tournament in Edmonton, but her head wasn’t in the game and she decided to withdraw from the tournament on the second day because she didn’t think she could get through another round and she didn’t think it was fair to the fellow golfer she was playing with at the time.

She explained her decision to withdraw to Golf Canada Level 4 rules official Peter Davies who immediately showed compassion and concern for her situation.

Bush had picked up a rare item on the course just moments before withdrawing. It was a Titleist 20 golf ball and she handed it over to Davies not thinking any more of it until Davies told her he would take the ball on the condition that he could give it back to her when she travels to Newfoundland and Labrador for the 2017 tournament.

“I told him he had a deal,” Bush, who is free of cancer today, told The Western Star Wednesday afternoon moments after finding out she had made the cut for today’s final round.

Bush was among the group of golfers who attended a player reception for the tournament earlier this week.

She was sitting quietly with a friend chatting about an email she had received from Peter Davies back in October where he was wishing her the best for the future after hearing her surgery went great.

She wanted to track down Davies and get the ball back figuring the Golf Canada official was in the building.

In a matter of moments, fellow golfer and friend Kim Carrington of Calgary stepped up to the microphone and became pretty emotional talking about somebody battling cancer and Bush’s intiital reaction was “wow, somebody else has it”.

But, then Carrington said her real purpose for taking the microphone was to deliver a golf ball to one of the participants and then it sunk in that she was the person her friend was talking about.

“I broke out into a sweat and I got choked right up. I couldn’t even talk,” Bush said.

The ball was put it in a nice case and Davies had a card inside explaining that he was sorry he couldn’t make it this year and told Bush he was happy her surgery was success.

Carrington said it was an emotional moment for her and the many golfers who have become a big part of the large golf family that Bush has been able to count on for support since being diagnosed.

“I think any time you have someone who is fighting a health issue, or an ailment in life period, you’re sensitive to what they’re going through, and at the end of the day golf just becomes golf and it puts things in perspective,” she said.

Bush is doing great, but she will be seeing her surgeon in September for a check-up. She’s been living a more active lifestyle, so life is good thanks to all the support she’s received from friends and fellow golfers who know her story.

She has a new perspective on life and glad she still hit the ball around because it’s her thing to do now that her competitive women’s hockey career — one that included playing in five national women’s hockey tournaments and one world championship — is a blast from the past.

“It has made me appreciate things and not get upset over a stupid golf game,” she said. “Like I three-whacked I don’t know how many holes out there today, but you know what I get that ‘oomph’ and then I think’ hey, look where I am — it could have been a lot worse.’

“There’s a lot of people out there who would love to switch places with me right now."

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Joey Bush poses for a photo after finishing her second round at the 2017 Canadian mid-amateur and senior golf championships Wednesday afternoon at Humber Valley Resort.

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