Your Disability Doesn’t Define You

Your Disability Doesn’t Define You
Perspective in life and golf is everything. It’s the difference between those who allow their circumstances to conquer them and those made of sterner stuff who are able to conquer their circumstances. Having moulded his character around gratitude and a great sense of humour, Dewald Albertze is certainly made of sterner stuff!
After being diagnosed with Relapse Remitting Multiple Sclerosis- a condition which affects the signals sent from the brain to the body – it would’ve been easy for Albertze to let the condition get the better of him. Instead he used it as a reason to take stock of different aspects of his life and find gratitude in the simple things.
“For me MS is a condition that has forced me to re-evaluate the importance of faith, relationships, balance & health over physical objects,” says Albertze.
Sport has always been a significant part of Albertze’s life having participated in cricket, rugby, karate and golf growing up.  
In fact, a tireless work ethic helped Albertze distinguish himself among his golfing peers at school.
“ I can recall being on either the practice greens or golf course at least 6 days a week and I also was selected in the 1st team golf for Hoerskool Riebeeckrand from the age of 15,” says Albertze.
Fortunately for Albertze his condition didn’t rob of the opportunity to play the game he loved.
After hearing about the SADGA through his Neurological Physiotherapist Ingrid Vivvier, Albertze came into contact with a host of people who reinforced the need to be grateful for all one has in life. 
“I am reminded by the interaction with my ‘SADGA family’ to be grateful for the ability to accomplish the smallest tasks and NEVER take anything for granted.”
Beyond the opportunity to play the game competitively that the association has afforded him, Albertze poked fun at his SADGA Open debut at Ebotse in 2022 before remarking that his personal highlight since joining the association has been the people he’s met.
“My highlight surely hasn’t been the 141 or 121 shot in my 1st tournie at Ebotse…lol!!!
“The standout is without a doubt the friends made along the way and each new face met on the 1st tee of each day in every tournament which has been a humbling experience.”
So how would Albertze assess the seven years since he was first diagnosed with RMS?
“Considering where I was 7 years ago, I am truly blessed to be able to walk, run and play the game I love!”
For all those who may be struggling to come to terms with a physical disability of some sort, Albertze has an incredibly powerful message.
“Always remember that your diagnosis or disability doesn’t define you as a person.”
Photo: Supplied

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