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Delta Air Lines 12th Annual Golf Tournament Helps Kids Like Larenz

Delta Air Lines hosted their 12th annual Golf Tournament at Eagles Landing Country Club on Friday, October 12.

More than 120 golfers hit the links to raise money and show their support for families and patients treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Greg Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Operations, Hubs for Delta Air Lines leads the event with one motto in mind: “It’s all about the kids!” A focus on the kids, gorgeous fall weather and a generous team of vendor partners made the event a great success this year!

Vendors had the privilege of hearing from CHOA patient, Larenz Soares, and his mother Greta, who shared how Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has impacted their family. Here is a glimpse into his story:

Larenz Soares is a happy 11-year-old who is motivated to excel and help others. But, he struggles daily to manage a chronic illness that leaves him in unspeakable pain and often hospitalized.

At 3 years old, Larenz was diagnosed with sickle beta thalassemia, a rare form of sickle cell disease that causes many health problems. Most patients are diagnosed at birth. However, Larenz had been healthy until he was 3. It was only when he woke up with a yellow tint in his eyes one morning that his mom, Greta, knew there was a problem.

Larenz has undergone a few surgeries since his diagnosis, one to remove his spleen and another to extract his gallbladder. But, it is the pain that keeps Larenz in and out of the hospital. Greta can sometimes help her son manage his pain, but once he passes a certain threshold, the only relief comes from treatment at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Larenz is admitted to the hospital frequently and typically stays for days at a time, often missing school. But, resources such as the Children’s School Program have helped Larenz stay on track. He has maintained academic honors throughout grade school. Greta says Larenz perseveres through his illness and inspires others.

Afterwards, Delta Air Lines presented Larenz with an autographed basketball.

A check presentation is being scheduled to announce this year’s official total, which is on track to beat last year’s amount of $320,000!