Dana-Farber patient uses mini golf to cope and combat cancer

At 28 years old, Sam Lozier was diagnosed with a tumor in her left eye. The tumor then metastasized when she was 36. Below Sam shares why she was compelled to give back to Dana-Farber through Jimmy Fund Golf presented by Mohegan Sun.

Two years ago, I was at Dana-Farber for a check-up with my oncologist when I saw a Jimmy Fund Golf ad flash on one of the hospital’s TVs. I had, throughout the years, contributed to my friends who did the Jimmy Fund Walk annually, but this advertisement was for a golf tournament! And not just that, but it said that you could raise money playing mini golf! It was an absolutely perfect advertisement for somebody like me: Somebody who loves mini-golf, and who wanted to do something to help not just myself, but other Dana-Farber cancer patients and their families.

My husband and I have always loved playing mini golf, and it’s something that we started doing together when we began dating. In fact, one of our first dating memories is of us playing mini golf. I guess I didn’t start off so well and I remember my husband, Sean, saying, “Don’t worry honey, you’ll beat me someday!” This must have spurred me on because I ended up beating him! And now every time we play we still joke about that comment and how I ended up winning that day. We even played the day we met with my oncologist, when I found out that my cancer had possibly returned. After going over details of biopsies and clinical trials we needed to feel normal, like everything was going to be OK. Mini golf did that for us.  

We have now held two Jimmy Fund mini golf events, and have raised more than $25,000 in these last two years thanks to the incredible generosity of our family, friends, and Jimmy Fund Golf staff. 

We call ourselves “Team Lozier” and a friend of mine had T-shirts printed. To help with fundraising, we hold opportunity drawings and have been lucky enough to have the support of some great local businesses.

But I want to tell you the truth, which is that after my initial excitement at starting a fundraiser, the reality of it set in. I was worried that with my full-time job as a social worker and the CEO of my own health, I wouldn’t be able to dedicate enough time to starting a running a tournament and that it would be a flop.

That’s where Jimmy Fund Golf staff came in. They guided me every step of the way. It was easy to start the fundraiser and they gave great ideas about how to start small, get the word out, pick a venue, decide on pricing, and set up an opportunity drawing. I had no fundraising experience and the first year we raised more than $12,000! I quickly realized that with the help of the Jimmy Fund staff I could make this a success. 

The second year turned out better than the first, though I was even more nervous. I just had three surgeries in two months and I was tired, but I knew that I wanted to keep the tournament a yearly tradition. The Jimmy Fund staff encouraged me to enlist the help of my family and friends and it was such great advice. Not only were people more than happy to help, but it gave the whole event such a sense of community. I think as the “patient” I sometimes forget how helpless those in my life must feel, but this was a time when many felt like they could step up to the “tee” and feel empowered as well. 

The end result? A day full of fun, love, and support for all that Dana-Farber Cancer Institute does for its patients and their family members. Because you’re not just raising important funds for patients and the staff who care for them, you’re committing to helping the quality of life of family members, friends, and caregivers of these patients as well.

Sam Lozier
Team Lozier Golf Tournament

Developing and managing your own Jimmy Fund Golf event may feel challenging, but with the help of the Jimmy Fund staff, families and individuals find creative ways to fight cancer every day. For more information on organizing a charity golf event contact the Jimmy Fund Golf staff.