Young Sparrow rehab patients hit the links and enjoy new adaptive golf program

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 16, 2016

Inspiring and courageous Sparrow Pediatric Rehabilitation Patients with cerebral palsy and other ailments are now able to get out on the links thanks to a new adaptive golf program.

Monday marked the first official practice of the program, in which youthful participants use specially adapted golf clubs to learn the game and practice their skills. Their hard work will culminate in a mini-scramble event in August.

The program offers an opportunity for youths, aged 7 to 17, who may otherwise face physical limits to enjoy the outdoors and participate in one of Michigan’s favorite sports.

“We are so thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity for kids to learn not just a sport, but social, leadership and coping skills,” said Jennifer Deibel, Sparrow Pediatric Rehab Program Manager. “This program is a prime example of what we can do to improve the health of everyone in our community when we work together. Quality, compassionate care doesn’t stop at the hospital doors. It keeps going, even out on these greens.”

The program was made possible by a generous grant received from the Capital Region Community Foundation received through the Sparrow Foundation.

“Anything that we can do to help our kids feel as typical as possible is a good thing,” said Rashae Polo of Holt, whose daughter, Olivia, participated in Monday’s practice.

Olivia, 8, has a congenital heart defect that caused her to suffer a stroke.

Volunteers from The First Tee of Mid-Michigan are working with the youngsters to learn golfing skills. The First Tee of Mid-Michigan provides a first-class learning environment for area youth, giving young people the opportunity to acquire vital life skills, work with positive mentors, and learn more about one of the nation’s most beloved pastimes. For more information about The First Tee, visit

Anyone with questions about the program may call 517.364.5486 for more information.

Sparrow is a leader in caring for children. The first hospital in mid-Michigan to offer a dedicated children’s unit, Sparrow is home to the region’s only full-service pediatric emergency department. As the region’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Sparrow provides the most advanced technology and treatment options in pediatric and neonatal care.

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