As the defending champion of the Principal Charity Classic, Brandt Jobe returned to Des Moines for a pre-tournament media day on April 23.
His stops included a visit to Blank Children’s Hospital, one of the event’s six tournament charity partners. It was a visit that hit home for Jobe.
He was in eighth grade, just into his teenage years, when he spent a month at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver.
He was suffering from Reye’s Syndrome, an allergic reaction to aspirin.
“One out of three live,” Jobe said. “At first they didn’t know what I had. They thought it was the plague or something. I was in a tented room. My mom and dad came in masks. My dad was a doctor. He was going crazy.”
Reye’s Syndrome was the eventual diagnosis.
“You can’t keep anything down and you start whittling away,” Jobe said. “Your body fights it or it doesn’t, and you die.”
Jobe’s stomach was pumped constantly, and he had IVs in his arm.
“I remember a big day was getting up, walking down the hall and walking back,” Jobe said.
Brandt spent time hanging out with an older boy who had the same diagnosis.
“All of a sudden he’s gone,” Jobe said. “He didn’t make it. I didn’t know.”
Jobe recalls ministers from his family church coming in one day to see him, and started thinking the worse.
“I said to my mom and dad, ‘What are they doing here?’” Jobe said. “I guess I got a little closer than I thought.”
All those memories come back when Brandt, a father of two, makes stops to places like Blank Children’s Hospital. He visited with several kids during his April visit. Jobe gave kids his bobblehead. He putted with several of them on a makeshift green, played video games with others. Kids who first kept their distance ended up sitting on his lap.
“If you can just change their day a little bit,” Jobe said. “They were able to have a little fun. That’s a big deal in their life. I’m glad this tournament is so involved with (Blank Children’s Hospital) here. That’s what it’s all about.”
By Rick Brown, Principal Charity Classic Senior Reporter