Dubai: Carling Coffing won the afternoon session of the Pro-Ams with her team on Tuesday. For a girl diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes at the age of five, that would probably just be a footnote in her list of achievements.
She is fighting bigger battles, for a much larger cause. "It's Insulin that keeps me going. I have this Insulin pump activated 24 hours a day, besides having to check my blood sugar levels at least 10 times a day," she told XPRESS, displaying the small device that functions as an external pancreas to help stabilise her diabetes.
And the stunning 24-year-old, who still donates a percentage of her earnings to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, has a goal. "I want to start my own charity and find a cure for this disease," she said.
The native of Middletown, Ohio, got her big break after winning Golf Channel's reality hit show, aptly named Big Break. "I guess that was the ticket to stardom for a small town girl like me," she said. Besides receiving a tournament exemption for the Dubai Ladies Masters as part of exemptions on the LPGA and LET Tours, Coffing also won several other prizes that include two Caribbean Cruises.
"I might take one of them if I win here," she joked, before adding: "For now, I have been bowled over by this place. This city is so futuristic. I am staying at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the view from there is amazing as you gaze at the seven-star hotel next to you. I also want to go the Mall of the Emirates to see the ski-slope. Most importantly, I want to do well here, make the cut for starters."
So, how does she deal mentally with her condition day in, day out?
"I have just decided to accept it and move on. Nobody has a perfect life. It could have been worse. At least I am able to play golf and lead a normal life," she said.
"Golf was the only sport I could take up given my condition. I play in the Duramed Futures Tour, which is also known as the Road to LPGA. I have taken part in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the CBS Pharmacy Challenge where I did really well in what was my first major tournament. Now, I am hoping for more sponsors' exemptions," she added.