SAN ANTONIO — Kendall Ramos is a newbie when it comes to the game of golf, but she’s quickly making up for lost time. And it only helped to fuel the fire that her first golf lesson — and even her first swing — came under the capable eye of one of Texas’ most beloved golfers.
Ramos was diagnosed with cancer in 2021 after constant knee pain led her mom, Crystal Landgraf, to take her to a doctor.
After a cancer diagnosis and surgery that removed part of her leg, the 14-year-old Kendall has been learning how to walk with a prosthetic.
“She was complaining about right knee pain for about five or six weeks, so we had her X-rayed where I was working at and I sent it to the radiologist … thank God,” Crystal Landgraf said. “He called me the next day as the provider, not as her mom, and the very next day we were seeing an oncologist.”
This week, the resident of Corpus Christi made the two-hour trek to TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course prior to the 100th playing of the Valero Texas Open.
Not only did she get a set of clubs from Titleist, including a custom-made Scotty Cameron putter, but Ramos got to take her first golf swing with returning champion Jordan Spieth by her side.
The moment was uplifting and emotional.
Kendall started chemotherapy in August 2021 and later underwent surgery to remove her femur. She is now learning to walk with a prosthetic leg.
Before her diagnosis, Kendall was a cheerleader and participated in track and volleyball. After receiving her prosthetic, Kendall’s doctor gave her three options of low-impact sports she could pursue: cycling, swimming and golf.
Though she’d never played before, Kendall decided to give golf a swing.
Kendall Ramos, 14, reacts after receiving a golf cart from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Valero on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Ramos uses a prosthetic leg after undergoing surgery for cancer, and she hopes to take up golfing. The foundation and Valero teamed up to surprise her with the cart to help her get around the golf course. (Photo by Ashlee Burns/Corpus Christi Caller-Times)
The Make-A-Wish Foundation wanted to make that easier by surprising Kendall with a custom golf cart she needed to get around the course. Having part of her hip and knee and her whole femur removed means Kendall can’t run or jump anymore. She’s still learning to bear weight on the prosthetic, but with physical therapy she’ll be ready to eventually hit the golf course. She will be starting her freshman year at Gregory-Portland High School later this summer.
“Since my surgery, I wasn’t going to be able to do any of the sports I had done before,” Kendall said. “I thought, ‘I live right by a golf course so why not?’
“I’m really excited to start learning,” she said, adding that she’d wanted the golf cart even before the diagnosis and surgery.
Make-A-Wish and Valero teamed up to buy Kendall her own golf cart that she could use to get around the golf course near her house.
“For anybody else out there, it gets better,” Kendall said with tears in her eyes.