Golfer fights off illness to compete in Wells Fargo Pro-Am

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - He's one of the lucky few hitting the links at the Wells Fargo Pro-Am, but just days ago, Harold Kennedy didn't think he would get to play out one of his dreams.

"This is an opportunity he didn't think he would ever get," Kennedy's wife, Valerie, said. "He said, 'I'm so excited! I'm just waiting for somebody to pinch me.'"

Fear set in though when Harold woke up Friday with Bell's Palsy, a condition that causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face.

Harold was devastated, and almost dropped out, but decided, in the end, there was no way he'd pass up the opportunity.

"He said, 'I at least have to try,'" Valerie recalled. "I said 'Good for you. I will be there.'"

Armed with a comfy chair and good pair of walking shoes, Valerie followed her husband on Eagle Point's 18 holes Monday.

"I [wanted to] be his pep squad so to say," Valerie said. "To help him stay going and stay focused."

Valerie said she couldn't be prouder of her husband, who refused to let a frightening discovery hold him back from doing what he loves.

"Hit them long and straight," Valerie passed on to her husband as he prepared to tee off. "And I love you."

Although Harold was focused on the task at hand, he smiled as he passed by, grateful to get the opportunity to play during the Wells Fargo Championship in front of his wife, who remained steadfast on the sideline.

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