As a Cambia sponsored rookie on the LPGA tour, Caroline Inglis, is always looking for ways to use her platform for good. She’s partnering with Cambia Health Solutions to help spread awareness around important health issues here in Portland and around the world.
We recently had a chance to sit down and chat with Caroline for part one of a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from her transition into professional sports, traveling with the LPGA and how her father’s health care journey shaped her life.
Read about her inspiring story.
What do you most enjoy about your LPGA golf experience?
The competitiveness of it is awesome. I think I'm a pretty competitive person, so I really enjoy that aspect of it, but also the opportunities that golf has allowed me. I've been taken to some amazing places and I've been able to meet some incredible people. Being a part of the team and playing for the University of Oregon, was an incredible experience. Now playing on the LPGA, I feel like I meet so many awesome people every week, and I get to go and experience these things that a lot of people don't get to, and I feel so lucky and blessed. I think of all the opportunities and experiences that I have, and I'm really trying to soak it in and keep perspective.
You played locally on the University of Oregon women’s golf team, so what was it like transitioning to a global organization like the LPGA?
It wasn’t a massive leap, as I played on the Symetra Tour last year, which is the developmental tour for LPGA. Obviously, I would have loved to be on the LPGA full-time right out of college, but I think Symetra allowed me to adjust and get my bearings a little more because it wasn't such a big stage yet coming out of college. Now that I am on the LPGA I feel more comfortable with all the media attention, interviews, autographs and things like that. It’s definitely a big change going professional, especially because the schedule and travel is more demanding. There's a lot to adjust to.
What's it like for you to come back home to Portland?
Portland is my happy place, and coming home is a time for me to unwind, recover and reflect. I also really enjoy the time with my loved ones. Being away so much has made me appreciate being home even more, because when I’m on the road it's always so busy and go-go-go. So, I love off-weeks. But after a while I crave the travel and the busy schedule. I always try to find a good balance.
What do you miss most about Portland when you’re on the road?
I'm addicted to coffee. And coffee in Portland is so much better than 95% of the places we go on tour. I like going to Stumptown or any of the boutique coffee places. And Portland food is great as well. Recently, when my boyfriend picked me up from the airport, we went straight to a poke bowl place, which was really good. I love that there are endless options.
You and Cambia both share a passion for palliative care. Can you share a bit with us about where this passion comes from?
When I first met Mark [Ganz, the CEO of Cambia], we talked a lot about the work that Cambia is doing around palliative care. He is really passionate about not only health care but also spiritual care. This includes making sure that both the patient and the family are taken care of: how they’re doing, how they’re feeling and how their spirit is. That really spoke to me and is near-and-dear to my heart because my dad passed away from leukemia when I was a freshman in college.
I’m so sorry about your dad. What was it like to lose someone so dear to you and at such a young age?
The summer before my junior year in high school my dad was diagnosed with leukemia. Eventually, he underwent a stem-cell transplant and his cancer went into remission. Then at the end of my freshman year in college, he was able to travel with me and the Ducks for the NCAA Championships in Atlanta. On our way home, he developed a clot, and was forced to be hospitalized in Phoenix. There he developed an infection that led to multiple systems failure-- within two days my dad died at age 60. I had lost my best friend. I think that has been a huge part of my identity and it shaped who I am today.
Obviously, I was super angry and it took me a really long time to come to terms with it. But I took comfort in my faith and my family and those things are important to me to this day, which were also really important values to my dad.
To learn more about Cambia's people-centric palliative care vision, visit our Person-focused care page.Visit Caroline Inglis’ LPGA profile page to find out more about her golf game and stats, and follow her on Twitter @InglisCaroline.