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Anne Photograp News 2024

Onsted’s Jayden Valasek is awarded Make-A-Wish with Good Good Golf
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Onsted’s Jayden Valasek is awarded Make-A-Wish with Good Good Golf

ONSTED — If you could do anything or meet anyone, who would it be and what would you do?

For Onsted sophomore Jayden Valasek, the answer was simple.

He wanted to play with Good Good Golf, a group that launched their golf-based YouTube channel in 2020 and has grown in popularity.

“I’ve always watched their YouTube channel and I’ve always wanted to play with them,” Valasek said. “I started watching two years ago when I knew I was going to be on this high school golf team and I wanted to learn some things.”

Valasek recently had his dream come true through Make-A-Wish and was able to meet and play with the guys from Good Good Golf during a tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The group competed in a four-man scramble tournament and also presented Valasek with two putters and Fanatics gave Valasek a driver. The video, which was posted two weeks ago, has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

“It was fun playing with them,” he said. “They’re really good and they look the same (off camera). When I got home I couldn’t believe I had to do that.”

Make-A-Wish is something Valasek has been a candidate for his entire life.

His mother, Katie Valasek, was told during her pregnancy that Jayden would have a number of birth defects.

He was born with heterotaxy syndrome (a rare condition in which many organs in the chest are abnormally shaped, in the wrong position or even missing), hypoplastic right heart syndrome (the right side of the heart did not develop, leaving one ventricle), polysplenia ( multiple spleens are not sure if they are working, which has compromised Jayden’s immune system), dextrocardia (the heart is on the right side of the chest), situs inversus (a rare genetic condition in which the organs in the chest and abdomen are reversed , turned over and on the other side of the body) and congenital diaphragmatic hernia (the diaphragm did not close in the uterus, causing his stomach, intestines and part of the liver to end up in his chest cavity, preventing his right lung from developing).

She was told he only had a 10% chance of surviving, but here he is.

When he was 1 year old, after a second open-heart surgery, doctors first brought up Make-A-Wish.

When he was four, after his third open-heart surgery, the doctors brought it up again.

“I wanted him to wait until he was older so he could make a good wish that he would remember,” she said. “I just kept waiting and waiting and he started talking about it more and we said, ‘Okay, it’s time.'”

After years of waiting for the Valasek family to use their Make-A-Wish, the Valasek had to wait. It took about eight months for Make-A-Wish to reach out and set something up with Good Good Golf.

Make-A-Wish even asked Jayden to change his mind, but he was determined to make his wish come true.

“Right before they contacted us to say they had set something up, they told us they were having trouble reaching them,” Katie said. “They were concerned about the wait. He definitely wanted to wait. He said he would wait as long as necessary.”

It was worth the wait.

“Absolutely,” she said. “There is no doubt in my mind.”

There’s no doubt the trip also helped his golf game for his Onsted team.

Valasek went from bouncing between the junior varsity and varsity squads to not only solidifying his spot on the varsity squad, but also being the Wildcats’ No. 1 golfer for the Lenawee County Invitation.

“He’s playing really well,” coach Brad Maska said. “He’s a great kid who loves the game. As much as he loves the game, it’s really good to see the rounds he’s made in recent weeks.

“His putter has been struggling early in the year, but he’s starting to undermine that. Probably because he got two new putters from the event.”

Not only did he receive the new putters from Good Good Golf, but he also got to use a caddy during the event, which made him look at courses differently.

“He helped a lot on the green,” Valasek said. “I didn’t see what he said, but he was usually right. He gave me a few tips and I applied them.”

Even on the channel, in a time when social media sends out negative thoughts and energy, the video has brought some confidence to Jayden’s game.

“Some comments say, Jayden is such a good golfer and I can’t believe he’s that good,” Katie said. “I think it was great for Jayden to see it from other people’s perspectives and now he has that video to keep as a memory for the rest of his life.”

It is not clear what Jayden wants to do after high school.

He is in uncharted territory for someone with his condition.

“We just live day by day,” Katie said. “It’s exciting to see him do his thing because I know it could have been a completely different outcome. They have no children with his condition to compare with. They have no long-term information about them. I do not know much.

‘He is doing well. That’s all we really know.’

After the trip, Valasek knows what he wants to do with his future.

“He definitely wants to be a professional golfer,” Katie said. “After this experience, that’s what he has his heart set on.”