Leslie focused on golf despite cancer battle

Sammy Leslie, one of Aberdeenshire’s top female golfers, is determined to keep her sporting ambitions on track despite facing a battle with cancer.

Aberdeenshire women’s county golf champion in 2010, when she was only 18, Leslie reached the semi-finals of the recent county championship and will play for Aberdeenshire in the Northern Division inter-county team championship at Monifieth from 16 to 18 June.

Leslie, the Kingswells-based 20-year-old who is a member of Aberdeen Ladies Golf Club at Balgownie, has explained how she discovered she had cancer.

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“After feeling extremely lethargic, I found a lump on my neck and went to the doctor,” she said. “He referred me to the hospital to get some tests.

“After many biopsies and an incisional biopsy, they diagnosed Hodgkins Lymphoma, in layman’s terms cancer of the immune system.

“Naturally I was quite shocked but have now come to terms with it. I am just about halfway through my treatment and am feeling OK. My treatment consists of eight sessions of chemotherapy with involved field radiotherapy at the end.”

Eager to beat the illness and keep playing golf, Leslie says she is thrilled to have performed in the county championship.

“I managed to play in my county championship and I think I played quite well due to the support I received from all the county ladies who were there,” she continued. “I was gutted I couldn’t play in the Scottish championship at Tain a couple of weeks ago, as it coincided with a session of chemo, but I was delighted my Aberdeenshire team-mate Laura Murray won.

“God willing, I will be back on the course in no time. I’ll have to get out practising ASAP as dad has won a trophy already this year – and I have not heard the end of it!”

Marta Moody, captain of Aberdeenshire Ladies County Golf Association, said: “When those of us at ALCGA heard the news of Sammy’s serious illness and related treatment, we were devastated. However, in our concern we had not factored in Sammy’s bubbly, positive personality and immense courage.

“We have in Aberdeenshire county golf a truly remarkable young lady who is dealing with serious illness and energy- sapping treatment in the most inspirational way. Always bright, committed to her golf, and so interested in, and caring of, others, she brings so much to life.

“I am immensely proud to have someone of Sammy’s calibre in the county team, but more importantly, privileged to call her a friend. She is indeed a very, very special young person.”

At the 2010 Scottish women’s amateur championship at Craigelaw, Leslie won the McInnes Shaw Cup and the St Rule Salver in the qualifying rounds.