Lymphoma patient Noah Kramer, 6, was in good company Jan. 21 at the Guy Bostick Clubhouse — surrounded by the UF men’s golf team with a colorful array of toys to choose from.
Noah's mother, Gabbie Kramer, said their support meant everything.
"The support that we receive from the community around us is what continues to give us the motivation to drive forward through all the hard times,” Gabbie Kramer said.
The Florida men’s golf team has collaborated with Jacksonville-based nonprofit Dreams Come True since the Fall 2022 season. The team raised $75,000 during its season, to send Noah and 14 other children on a Carnival Cruise.
While the team could only get to know some of the children it raised money for, the players wanted to be part of at least one event.
Noah, with whom the team interacted Jan. 21, was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. He received his first round of chemotherapy during Christmas of 2019; each chemo cycle was 21 days, and he was an inpatient for a minimum of five days every time.
Noah is finally cancer-free after several rounds of treatment.
Noah talked with some of the players, ate cake with cake and spent time with them, following a presentation about his journey with cancer.
Noah was adopted by Jason and Gabbie Kramer in 2019 at 3 years old. Eight months later, one of his teachers noticed a hard lump on Noah’s jaw. He was initially diagnosed with an infected lymph node, experiencing days of high fevers and pain before the swelling began to spread down his neck and under his chin.
He was sent to countless doctors and underwent several blood work trips to the emergency room. The doctors said Noah had atypical mycobacteria, causing him to have his lymph nodes removed.
However, just two days after Noah's lymph node removal, he was diagnosed with a rare form of non-hodgkin's lymphoma called anaplastic large cell lymphoma. His diagnosis came 63 days after the swelling began.
The organization made up for a lot of the time Noah’s parents and their family spent alone, she said. The COVID-19 pandemic struck during Noah’s chemo treatment, so he didn’t have much of a support system.
The men’s golf team donated a portion of the donations to the Kramers Jan. 21. The funds will send Noah and his family, including his four adopted siblings, on a cruise in March.
“Our family just feels incredibly loved, incredibly blessed and so humbled for this opportunity,” Gabbie Kramer said.
It felt special as an athlete to be able to have opportunities like this, Gators senior Fred Biondi said.
"It means a lot to us,” he said. “I know for everyone here, it is the least we can do for them.”
Giving back to those who are struggling as a team is the least they can do, he said.
Dreams Come True partnered with Golf Fights Cancer in September 2022 for The Gator Good Guys Collegiate Cup.
The men's team’s coach was grateful for the opportunity to help children like Noah.
"It was really special to see a presentation like that,” Deacon said. “It's good to put this stuff in front of the players, and then hopefully, as they get older, they can make a difference too."
All the players want to make it to the PGA tour, Deacon said. If they get to chase their dreams, it’s the least they can do to give back and help others reach theirs, he said.
Sheri Criswell, Dream Come True’s executive director, said it’s incredible to be able to serve these children who have been through so much.
“When children are diagnosed with something life-threatening, it can be a long journey to recovery and healing that is why we are here to help,” Criswell said.
Alyssa Britton-Harr is a second-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spending time with her friends.