Thirty-eight years ago, doctors said DJ Gregory would never walk.
“I was born with cerebral palsy. I was born 10 weeks pre-mature.”
But his life-long passion for golf would turn a difficult challenge into one of his greatest victories.
“I love all sports, but golf is my favorite sport because I can play competitively if I choose. I’m not really good at golf. I play one handed. It’s a self-taught swing. I can normally hit the driver to about 100 to 135 yards.”
In 2008, he walked every hole of every tournament on the PGA golf schedule.
“From the positive response I got from players and fans that year and different media outlets, I decided what else can I do to continue to motivate and inspire others in their own lives. So, in 2010 I started the Walking for Kids Foundation.”
The foundation allows PGA tour professionals and sports fans the opportunity to give back to children’s charities.
“I wanted to help kids achieve their own goals and dreams and really help kids that have special needs. I’m a big believer that everybody has a goal and dream, and everybody should be given a chance to achieve their goals and dreams.”
The foundation is based here in Meridian, and professional golfers such as Rickie Fowler and Jason Day give to the foundation each year.
Since his tremendous goal in 2008, Gregory hasn’t missed a step in walking at every PGA tournament.
“We’ve almost hit 10,000 miles walked. I go through about three to four pairs of shoes a year. I do keep track of my number of falls. In 2008, my goal was to average less than one fall per week, which would be 43 falls in 44 weeks, and I came in at 29. This season I only had three falls.”
Looking forward, Gregory says he will continue his march for charity at pro-golf events.
“I’ll start the new calendar year in January in Maui. I got a couple of weeks off now, but we’ll start revving up again in January and will go about 38 straight weeks.”