Badgers' Hackworthy returns to course after cancer scare - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers' Hackworthy returns to course after cancer scare

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MADISON (WKOW) -

Wearing a pink top, the Badgers "W" encrusted in white, Tess Hackworthy practices her drives, chips, and putts with her proud mother, Amy, watching close by.

The pair united by blood and by the trails of life.

"I was in 7th grade," recalls Tess. "It was March of 2010."

Amy had just returned from a vacation with her older daughter Emily.

"And I found a lump myself.... And uh, very alarming because of the size of it," says Amy.

Within the next few days, Amy would find out she had Stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 46. 

"That's really hard to think about," Tess says, fighting back tears.

Amy recalled the moments after her diagnosis.

"I'm young, I have these children I have to finish bringing up. I was just willing to do what I had to do."

Two years later, during Tess's freshman year at Edgewood, Amy was declared cancer-free. 

From that point forward, Tess's golf game flourished. She helped capture four straight WIAA State titles with the Crusaders. Her performances on the course landed her a spot on the University of Wisconsin's women's golf team. 

But right before her freshman year at U-W, cancer would strike her family again, as older brother Charlie was diagnosed with melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer. The scare of one child having skin cancer, prompted Amy to get the rest of her three children checked out only to discover that another would have the same fate. 

Tess remembers driving alone in the car when she heard the news. 

"They took a mole from my leg and about two days later I got the call that it was a melanoma."

"You don't wish this on anyone, "Amy added, "But when it's your child..that's not right."

So in February, doctors removed tissue from the surrounding area, leaving a five inch scar down her right shin. The process would sideline her for the remainder of her freshman season. 

"It could happen to anyone and it doesn't matter how old you are, " Tess warns, "and you really need to stay protected from the sun if you're going to spend that much time outside." 

But even though cancer struck the Hackworthy's three separate times, Tess learned an important lesson: If cancer is part of your present, it doesn't have to dictate your future. 

This summer, she returned to the course to claim the Wisconsin Women's State Open Championship.

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