Living life takes on a stronger meaning for Denise Cameron

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

Life’s good for Denise Cameron.

The key word in that sentence? Life.

The 28-year-old resident of Syracuse, New York, is living life the way she wants. She’s less than a year from getting her college degree. There’s an awesome internship set up for the summer.

Denise Cameron has overcome a lot in the past year, but she's kept an upbeat attitude throughout. (photo by Dan Traub)

Denise Cameron has overcome a lot in the past year, but she’s kept an upbeat attitude throughout. (photo by Dan Traub)

Then there’s disc golf. Oh, is there disc golf. She’s coming off one of the best seasons she’s ever had. And, heck, just to throw things into another orbit, she’s even dating 2010 PDGA world champion Eric McCabe.

Life’s grand, it seems, for Cameron.

But if not for things working out in a crazy way, all of this may never have happened.

See, on Feb. 4, 2012, two days after her 27th birthday, Cameron suffered a brain aneurysm. And if not for everything lining up just right, the situation may have not worked out so well for her.

Despite being young and active, this health issue ran in her family. Her mother died at 51 from a massive aneurysm.

Active in the Central New York disc golf scene, Cameron said she started playing in 2004 or 2005, when she still lived in Florida. She moved to New York in 2008 and continued playing.

Central New York, specifically the Syracuse area, is a pretty solid area to play the game. With plenty of courses and a lot of people, it’s rare to not find somebody playing.

“It was a fun thing to go into the woods and throw discs,” Cameron said.

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Women’s disc golf clinics attract wide range of participants, create young fans

Wearing a journalist hat makes one think differently when at an event. But at a recent disc golf clinic, I was just really excited that my wife and daughters had not only agreed to attend, but were even looking forward to it. Being in dad mode, I at least snapped a lot of photos.

The event, a women’s disc golf clinic led by Prodigy Disc team members Sarah Hokom and Paige Pierce, was held in in Santa Cruz, Calif., three days before the Masters Cup National Tour event.

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My excitement came because I had waited a long time for my wife and daugters to show interest in my favorite sport (or activity, hobby or obsession). My wife used to play many years ago, before the kids came along, but it was always more about wanting to share something I loved. The kids have played a few times, but hadn’t gotten hooked yet.

Scheduled for 5 p.m., the clinic was held on a particularly windy (and cold, for Santa Cruz) day in April. As a disc golf instructor, I assure you that these are not ideal conditions for teaching or learning the basics of flying disc sports.

We arrived a little before 5 and, aside from one lady, were the first on the scene. Slipping into journalist mode, I asked her what brought her there. She told me she was from San Francisco (a 1- or 2-hour drive, depending on traffic), and had played a week earlier in the amateur Masters Cup event. The clinic was promoted during that week and during the Daisy Chains women’s tourney, held in Santa Cruz County the week between the amateur and professional Masters Cup weekends.

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