Why I started Benefit Discs

In 2019 I discovered disc golf, and like many others, I got hooked! It provided the perfect way to get outdoors to enjoy the woods, some exercise, and a little competition… usually between yourself, and the trees!

In 2020, while the country was being shut down by covid, my wife Laura was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). It was a challenging time to be diagnosed since timely access to doctors was difficult due to the fear of covid. As a community college instructor, all of my classes went online, adding a little extra stress, but offering a bit more flexibility to help my wife at the time… and to get outside and play disc golf! My wife continued chemo for over a year and a half, and there were real challenges with the chemo and surgeries.

In 2021, I joined Disc Golf Design Group, a local disc golf course design company, as their web/graphic designer. Very exciting! My first signage design project was Fire Mountain Disc Golf Sanctuary in Cherokee, NC. Since then we have put in numerous courses. It is really exciting to see the growth of the sport and be a part of an active disc golf community.

In December 2022, my wife was diagnosed with metastatic TNBC. We started treatment, but her body did not like the new chemo. Instead, we looked into a clinical study at NIH that had the goal of “curing” cancer. My father died of cancer (at 91) only the day after Laura was accepted into the study. The next month, she was let go from the study when they discovered her cancer had progressed quickly. We were devastated.

With no real options, Laura went to Arizona to try an alternate cancer treatment. It was not covered by insurance, and we only had enough to get her started. Our church stepped in and created a fund to help us, and friends planned a benefit concert as well. It was by the giving of over 300 people that we were able to continue treatment in Arizona. I was amazed by the giving spirit by so many. Find out more and watch the concert at laurarossfund.com.

Eventually, we had to come home due to the progression of the cancer, despite all treatments. Laura continued to fight until the end, and on June 17th, 2023 lost her battle with cancer.

Original memorial disc that inspired Benefit Discs. Keep flying Chris!
The memorial disc I found in NC helped inspire me to start Benefit Discs.

Right before going out to Arizona, I found a memorial disc in NC for a past disc golf player. Originally from CA, I played with the disc in NC, TC, OK, NM, and AZ… and I left it in Arizona in July 2023 at the Vista Del Camino Course. I hope Chris’s disc is still flying! (I wish I knew his story!)

I started Benefit Discs as a way to memorialize Laura and to continue the Laura Ross Memorial Fund. The funds help others with cancer/disease-related bills, and support a local charity, the Hope Chest for Women (hopechestforwomen.org).

Hopefully, Benefit Discs will help disc golfers support charities and individuals by providing a platform for setting up fundraising efforts and also help “grow the sport” by putting discs (primarily putters) into circulation that allow ongoing donations. It is also fun to watch the disc migrate… just like monarch butterflies.

My wife loved monarchs and raise them… and she is embodied in the butterfly in the logo. See the story of the logo.

Pictures of my wife, Laura