SHC Community

Swinging and Singing with the Pros

National Patient Ambassadors share virtual experiences with the PGA

During a typical year, National Patient Ambassadors for Shriners Hospitals for Children, Mia, 16, and Connor, 14, would have hit balls with professional golfers and appeared before the crowd at the PGA TOUR’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Like so many events in 2020, the tournament looked different this year due to COVID precautions. But true to the spirit of the PGA TOUR and our Patient Ambassadors, participants overcame the obstacles and made special memories – virtually.

Mia, a patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis for scoliosis treatment, got to experience a part of the Shriners Open at home, when she and professional golfer Harold Varner III shared a video call. Varner commended Mia on her strength and special talent – singing. He even joined Mia in performing, I Want to Know What Love Is, before he got so moved by Mia’s vocal talent, he couldn’t continue.

Connor, a patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago, where he receives treatment for cleft lip and palate, hopes to one day become a golf pro. He and his family are even part of a large local annual golf tournament fundraiser for the hospital. So, it was a special treat when, as part of the online event, Connor got to interview pro players.

He also got an incredible surprise: The PGA TOUR arranged for Connor to hit in a professional golf simulator at Fire Iron Golf Chicago. He and his family even got to play “Pebble Beach” on the simulator.

Connor also received meaningful, personal video messages from PGA TOUR players. “Thank you so much to the PGA TOUR,” said Connor. “Those were awesome videos. It is something I’ll never forget.”

TO WATCH clips from Mia’s and Connor’s experiences, visit and