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Calgary golfer Steve Blake staying positive despite lung cancer diagnosis

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Steve Blake loves to be on the golf course and says it's how he gets away. 

However, eight months ago, he wondered if he would ever be able to pick up a club again.

Blake had a persistent cough that wasn't getting any better, so he decided to get it checked out. 

That's when he learned that despite not smoking, he had stage four lung cancer.

"We knew it wasn't going to be good," said Blake, 56.

"(The doctor) said 12 to 24 months, but I really grabbed onto that and said, 'I just want this to be the starting point. I'll see you in 24 months, and then we'll discuss another prognosis if you've got one for me.'"

Playing in Rogers Charity Classic

Despite everything he has gone through, Blake was determined to get back on the course, and did a few months back in Arizona.

Blake is one of Calgary's finest golfers and has had an outstanding career.  

In 2018, he qualified for the U.S. Senior Open. He's also teed up with the best on the Champions Tour at the Rogers Charity Classic at Canyon Meadows.

Blake wants to prove he can still get the job done. 

That's why he wrote a letter to the Rogers Charity Classic to see if he could get an exemption to play in the 2024 tournament. 

Blake, who celebrated his 56th birthday on May 27, says it's a great present.

"The situation being what it is, they were very open to receive my letter and have me in there," he said.

"I'm just very excited and it gives me something to look forward to, something to practice for going forward."

Positive person

Blake says family and friends have helped him get through his cancer diagnosis.  

His wife Kelly says she thinks it's Blake's positive attitude that has helped him out the most.

"Steve is actually a tremendous human being," she said. "He's leading the charge in all of this with his positivity. 

"I'm blessed that he's positive.  He makes it really easy to actually buy in that we can beat this."

Life isn't over

Through all of this, Blake says he's found that you have to advocate for yourself.  

It's been a tough eight months, but he wants to inspire others and has this message:

"You may be handed a death sentence, but it doesn't mean life is over.

"You've still got a lot to give, so get out there and give something. I have something like this tournament coming up to look forward to, and that makes me feel more alive."

Blake left this weekend with Kelly for California. where he'll try to qualify once again for the U.S. Senior Open.

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