Legally Blind Affton Sophomore Brings Spirit and Enthusiasm to Golf Team
Daniel Crum enjoys all sports, despite his impaired vision.
Affton High School sophomore Daniel Crum can’t wait for golf season. Crum, 15, is the first legally blind person ever to play on the Affton golf team. In fact, according to the Missouri State High School Activities Association, he is the only legally blind high school golfer in the state.
"I like golf because it’s something I can play, even with my disability,” said Crum, who also likes whiffle ball, flag football and basketball.
When Daniel was 2 years old, doctors discovered a brain tumor on his optic nerve. He had chemotherapy twice, but parts of the tumor remain, requiring annual MRIs. He is able to get some visual correction with glasses, and he has made his own adjustments to be able to play sports.
“He can’t see out of his left eye and in his right eye from middle to the nose,” said his mother, Elizabeth Crum. “He has no peripheral vision at all.”
During the recent snow, Crum was out shoveling his neighbor’s driveway and built a snow fort with his family. Even though he likes the snow, however, he is looking forward to golf weather.
“We start in February with meetings,” he said. “Then the competitions begin in March. I love playing golf.”
“I’m really proud of Daniel,” said his father, Dan Crum. “Last year he won the 'Most Enthusiastic Player' on the team.”
On the golf team, Crum plays by the same rules as everyone else.
“Daniel gets no special help, except to have someone spot his ball,” said Dan Oliver, the athletic director at Affton. “I enjoy talking to him each morning about all his activities, but I think he enjoys talking about golf the most.”
Dan and Elizabeth Crum attend a brain tumor support group, and they volunteer their time at St. Louis Childrens Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. They also make an effort to include a lot of church events and fun in their lives.
Due to Crum's disability the familys gets invited to activities with various charities, but Crum prefers his sports activities, such as his summer baseball league. He signed up to play on a team that included children with cancer or other disabling medical conditions, as well as their siblings.
There were four practices and an “All-Star Game,” and the night of the big game the kids were surprised by a visit from St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird, former Cardinal Glenn Brummer, and Cardinals players Brendan Ryan, Skip Shumaker and Colby Rasmus.
“That was so exciting,” said Crum. “I enjoyed the Cardinal players coming out and taking their time to play with us.”
Though he is a sports nut, he has a wide range of interests including acting. Several years ago Daniel Crum appeared in “Beanstalk: The Musical” a play performed at the Webster Theatre Guild.
“Daniel is very enthusiastic about all Affton events," said Oliver. "He is a great kid."
And like any high school student, Crum enjoys Facebook, making status updates like “I love all kinds of sports!!! Church and of course girls.”