KCKCC golfer overcomes amputation to compete at college level

Parker Vancampen competed for the KCKCC golf team this year. (KCKCC photo)

by Tyler Scott, KCKCC sports information coordinator

KCKCC men’s golfer Parker Vancampen never had the idea that he would play golf. His interest always started with sports like football, basketball and baseball. But an unexpected turn in his life occurred early on, which would propel his start in playing the sport that got him to KCKCC.

When he was an infant doctors found that he had developed a bone tumor that eventually turned worse.

“They discovered it at a couple of weeks old,” Vancampen said. “We fought it until I was 3 or 4 and at that point, it got too far and they decided that we had to amputate my leg. So they amputated it and my first steps were a prosthetic leg and it was off to the races since then. I started competing and playing in sports and really just fitting in like a normal kid.”

Then as he kept playing his right knee started to dislocate every so often. That’s when his trajectory in competing started to change.

“I couldn’t trust myself to run with my prosthetic leg anymore without it dislocating and I just had a lot of fear,” Vancampen said. “I talked to my parents and told them I was going to quit all these sports. They told me I had to keep competing so I said OK. .. I’m going to play golf. I’m going to go out there and work hard at it.”

His interest grew in golf and it has transpired ever since.

This past fall, Vancampen competed in all but two tournaments. He placed in the top 30 at one event, which was his highest finish and hopes to improve upon his game this upcoming spring, which begins in the first week of March.

Vancampen’s interest in KCKCC grew from him getting to know head coach Gary Shrader, as well as the layout of Kansas City.

“I loved Coach Shrader and all my future teammates,” Vancampen said. “There are also a lot of nice courses up here and it just seemed like a good fit. You can get some good practice in and keep developing each day.”

KCKCC’s golf history dates all the way back to the 1970s with numerous individual awards and Region Championships.

Vancampen hopes to be a part of that success, while with the Blue Devils before moving onto the next step.

“I hope to transfer and play at a higher level and just continue golfing and see where that goes.”

Expungement fair taking place

An expungement fair started Wednesday, Dec. 14, and is continuing on Thursday for those who want to have past convictions taken off their record.

The event is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Center, 6565 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

The fourth annual expungement fair is sponsored by the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office. There are a number of requirements to be met for a case to be expunged.