MILWAUKEE — An unexpected cancer diagnosis isn’t stopping a Milwaukee 24-year-old from pursuing his passion.
While going through chemotherapy, Peter Green competed in a disc golf tournament, won, and earned the no.1 rank among Wisconsin amateurs.
“You know, I got chemo yesterday, and I’m out here playing disc golf,” Green said during our interview on Nov. 10 at the Estabrook disc golf course in Milwaukee.
Green has stage 4 B-Cell Lymphoma cancer. He was diagnosed with it in August. It’s a type of cancer that people in their 60s and above usually get. Doctors aren’t sure why he has it, but he does.
“(I) got a CT scan, and it was revealed that I had a very large mass in my chest, (a) large mass in my pancreas, and then a mass in my kidney,” he said.
It was devastating news. Green has been a healthy and active person all his life. He played sports like soccer and baseball all his life. He even played football at Bemidji State in Minnesota. Cancer wasn’t even a remote possibility. But after months of feeling sick and dozens of doctor visits, he got a CT scan that revealed he had cancer.
Since Aug. 25, he has done four rounds of chemotherapy. That’s a physically and mentally taxing treatment. But it hasn’t stopped him from keeping up his passion for disc golf. In fact, disc golf is what has kept him going through treatment.
“Honestly, I use disc golf as a crutch. It seems like every time I go out and play, it completely changes my mood,” he said.
Disc golf has been part of Green’s life since he was a child. He would play with friends growing up in Sheboygan. In college, Green decided to play more. He realized he was pretty good and decided to take disc golf more seriously. Since then, he has traveled to Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, and more places to compete.
“So it’s great to be out in nature, and I get to go all over the United States, and look at different landscapes, and play in different crazy courses in the mountains and stuff,” he said.
In October, Green reached the highest point in his career so far. He earned the rank of the no.1 amateur disc golfer in the state. It was a triumphant moment amidst a tumultuous time in his life.
However, he has since lost that title. He has to keep playing tournaments to defend his rank, but it’s difficult to be constantly playing tournaments while going through chemotherapy. It’s something he would like to get back to.
“But I did get to hold that title for a month which is kind of cool,” he said.
He’s toying with the idea of becoming a pro, but right now has more pressing concerns – beating cancer.
“While I’m in the midst of it, I’m just kind of focused on battling it right now, I guess.”
Fortunately for Green, doctors said that he has a good chance of beating his cancer especially given his age and healthy lifestyle.
“It’s one of the most treatable cancers thank god,” Green said.
That doesn’t mean he is in the clear. He has at least two more chemo treatments left. And then there’s the financial battle he has up next. His medical bills are mounting up fast.
“We’re well past that six-figure mark. It’s not just on the brink of six figures, it’s up there.”
To help pay for the medical expenses, he is hosting a gofundme and a fundraising day called the Peter Green Fall Fundrasier. It will be on Nov. 12 at the Trimborn Farm in Greendale. There will be food, beer, merch, and disc golf discs to buy to help fund his treatment.