SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sanford International is more than six months away, but today organizers unveiled the 2021 Sanford Children’s Hospital Ambassador — 10-year-old Cobey DeSchepper.
Cobey DeSchepper is a third grader at Explorer Elementary.
“Cobey’s very athletic, very funny kiddo, very kind and friendly,” Allison DeSchepper said.
In the summer of 2015, this athletic kid wasn’t feeling well.
“We’re treating things that we thought just were childhood illnesses and at the end of the summer brought him in and finally got the diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” Allison DeSchepper said.
Cobey fought through nearly three years of treatments at Sanford Children’s Hospital.
“He was a champ. I always say he was more resilient than all of us through all of it,” Allison DeSchepper said.
“It was scary because I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn’t know how I was going to get medicine and all the stuff I was going to go through so it was a scary experience for me,” Cobey DeSchepper said.
An experience made less scary thanks to family.
“I knew they were going to help me get through it because that’s what family’s for,” Cobey DeSchepper said.
Cobey finished treatment in November, 2018, and rang the bell.
“The first time I kind of rang it too hard so it kind of didn’t work, but the next time I got it to work so it was pretty fun because I’m done with treatment once I rang that,” Cobey DeSchepper said.
He also handed out “high fives”.
“He’s going in once every three months just for checkups, just to make sure things are as they should be and he’s just living life like a 10-year-old would,” Allison DeSchepper said.
Cobey’s now learning to play golf.
“Before I kind of didn’t understand the rules, which I still don’t, but it’s fun once you get to know how to play,” Cobey DeSchepper said.
Cobey will play a prominent role at the Sanford International, including a first tee shot during the event’s opening ceremony.
“During tournament week that’s especially when he’s going to be very busy, he’s got a big opening tee shot that he has to hit, he’s going to do some interviews for us with some players. He’s going to be busy,” Josh Brewster said.
He’s also what the tournament is all about.
“We do this to raise money for charity and kids like Cobey to continue to give him hope and the resources to get better,” Brewster said.
Cobey is the fifth Sanford Children’s Hospital Ambassador. The Sanford International runs September 13-19 at Minnehaha Country Club.