A Unique Event with a Meaningful Purpose
Learn more about the partnership between a driven cancer survivor, the tight-knit community in the world of speedgolf, and the tireless efforts of a doctor in pursuit of non-toxic treatments for lymphoma made possible by the support of a former patient's family.
Event Founder/Survivor - Tim Scott
As we all know, life can be forever altered in an instant. This happened to me on April 19th, 2012 when I was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer called ocular melanoma. After a few weeks of shock, uncertainty, and treatment (lost roughly 75% vision in right eye) life slowly crept back to normal. A new normal, but normal. On December 1st, 2015, life was again rudely jolted with a diagnosis of a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After a month of opiate heavy pain management and four months of intensive chemotherapy life very slowly returned to normal. Again, a new normal, but normal. I am happy to say that I am nearing two years of being free and clear of any cancer and hope and intend to stay that way for a long time!
I started raising money for ocular melanoma in 2013 and have been determined ever since to help raise funds to help find a cure for this incurable disease if it ever metastasizes.
Having been a professional golfer, competitive runner and very involved in the world of Speedgolf for over two decades this seemed a natural way for me to contribute. The first fundraising event was held at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on the Oregon coast where I played all five courses in under five hours and raised nearly $18,000. Seeing the success of this I thought that expanding the event to include others would be a logical step and the Ultra Speedgolf Challenge for Ocular Melanoma was born in 2015 in Napa. The first edition had five individuals and one three person team playing Speedgolf for 12 hours. The catch… each had to raise at least $5000 to participate. The event was a great success raising over $30,000. We held the event again in April 2016 and the seven individual participants raised nearly $45,000. In 2017 I opted to run the Mt. Diablo 50k and raised nearly $10,000.
With the generous support of so many, through participating, donating, or both, these events have raised over $100,000 for ocular melanoma. I am now focused on raising funds for Dr. Joe Tuscano and his research team at UC Davis. My oncologist, Dr. Tuscano has made great strides finding and testing several non-toxic alternative treatments, and potentially a cure, for lymphoma.
The deleuze family foundation - Norman deleuze
Prior to becoming a world-class vintner of Napa Valley, ZD Wines Founder Norman deLeuze graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in engineering. He worked in aerospace, “chasing Sputnik,” as he liked to say. Once in the wine business, his down-to-earth attitude was well-suited for his approach to limited intervention winemaking and organic vineyard practices. One of his greatest legacies, however, may be his collaboration on research efforts as a lymphoma patient of UC Davis Research Oncologist Dr. Joseph Tuscano.
In December 2003, Norman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. For a health fanatic who took great care of himself (and planned to live to be 120 years old) the diagnosis came as a shock. In his initial consultations, Norman was told that without the help of chemotherapy and radiation he had approximately eight months left to live, and even with those treatments, the long-term prognosis was poor.
Norman’s response to that dark forecast was, “You want to bet?!” Not interested in conventional medical approaches because their toxicity typically results in weaker, not stronger immune systems, he began researching – and trying – a host of alternative treatments to build his immune system and fight the cancer. During his battle, in addition to a regimented diet that avoided sugars and processed flour, Norman tried high doses of intravenous Vitamin C, nutritional supplements, infrared saunas, a fermented wheat germ product, radio wave treatments and more. Using his scientific background, he did his best to distinguish the promising approaches from the dubious ones--though a lack of solid data was a constant frustration! “There are a lot of options out there but none of them have gone through clinical trials,” Norman thought. “Basic research that can help people make a careful evaluation and decide what to try is missing.”
Joining forces with UC Davis, Norman pioneered the UC Davis deLeuze Family Professorship for a Non-Toxic Cure for Lymphoma. The fund was launched in December 2006 with a donation of $313,000 by the deLeuze family, their winery and their friends. Through ZD Wines, Norman’s wife Rosa Lee and their three children, Robert, Julie, and Brett wish to continue their founder’s efforts in finding a non-toxic cure for lymphoma - the disease that claimed Norman’s life in October 2007. Today the Professorship has exceeded its initial goal of $1,000,000. This milestone marks the beginning of an Endowed Professorship Fund at UC Davis that supports the teaching, research and service activities of Dr. Tuscano. We thank our supporters for continuing to join the family in the non-toxic fight against lymphoma.
UC Davis Research Oncologist - Joseph Tuscano, M.D.
At UC Davis, Dr. Tuscano's efforts continue. As the primary oncologist for deLeuze, Tuscano had been developing novel, immune-based therapies to treat lymphoma, including the use of monoclonal antibodies. He also studied a variety of natural, homeopathic compounds including fermented soy products in collaboration with two cancer center colleagues, molecular geneticist Philip Mack and urologic oncologist Ralph deVere White, the UC Davis Cancer Center’s Director.
In the summer of 2006, deLeuze prompted Tuscano to branch out and take a look at a natural product – fermented wheat germ extract. Rarely used here but more common in Europe, the compound, known in one form as Avemar, had not been studied in formal, pre-clinical or clinical studies according to Dr. Tuscano. Lab tests, however, have shown promising results in a handful of human cancers.
When deLeuze began taking Avemar, Tuscano monitored him closely and concluded that his patient’s lymphoma appeared to be shrinking. Tuscano then tested the product in the laboratory and discovered that it was, in fact, very active for the treatment of lymphoma, both in the test tube and in animal models. Based on the surprising and significant results, Tuscano began research for the active ingredient.
As an oncologist, Tuscano advises that his patients take a traditional approach to their cancer using proven strategies such as radiation and chemotherapy. In Norman deLeuze, however, the doctor saw someone determined to avoid the toxicity of traditional therapies no matter the risk. “He understood the consequences of avoiding the traditional therapies and was willing to accept those risks to identify less toxic treatments,” Tuscano said.
According to Norman, Dr. Tuscano's training, research record and interest in non-traditional responses to cancer made him a perfect candidate for the deLeuze Family Professorship to find a non-toxic cure for lymphoma.