GOLF

Controversy is alive and well at FedEx St. Jude. So are the children

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They are all alive 10 years later. All 10. One is even getting married.

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Allie Allen presented her engagement ring onstage Wednesday morning with the other patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who have had a FedEx Purple Eagle aircraft named in their honor for the past 10 years. That’s roughly how much time has passed since Allen was first diagnosed with cancer.

She had just been going through a somewhat heartbreaking build up to this week and up to that particular anniversary moment at TPC Southwind. It was on Monday that Allen, 23, underwent a brain MRI for the first time in a year. She was worried because she had had seizures. It was the longest she had gone between scans. With her nuptials pending just four months away, the stakes were particularly high.

Doctors once told her she wouldn’t go through to graduating from high school. She just graduated from Ole Miss and bought a house with her fiancé.

Nine of 10 St. Jude patients who have had FedEx planes named after them through the Purple Eagle program, including Allie Allen (wearing sunglasses), pose for a photo with 2022 honoree Riley.

So the first FedEx St. Jude Championship, like so many differently named golf tournaments hosted by Memphis over seven decades, also became a celebration of life. Allen still has a cyst and still has a tumor, but the results came back Tuesday that everything is stable at this time.

Bring this wedding.

“I’m taking all the steps that I wouldn’t have imagined,” said Allen, who grew up from the time a friendship with Zach Randolph first brought her into the city’s consciousness.

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