With the level of competition off-the-charts at the U.S. Amateur Championship, it’s rare for a first-time participant to win the event over so many seasoned veterans.  But don’t count out Steve Abelow of Oldsmar, Fla., who’ll be making his first appearance after trying to qualify for the event in past years.

That’s because Steve, 31, has been beating the odds since he was 19 years old.  That’s when he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.  Like most people diagnosed with cancer, Steve and his family were suddenly faced with the fear of not knowing what the future might hold for him, if anything at all.

Fortunately for Steve, doctors prescribed him a drug that was relatively new at the time of his diagnosis.  The medication began to work, and Steve’s cancer was in remission.

Now he’s looking forward to the much more uplifting challenge of putting his poolplaying skills to the test against some of the very best amateur players in North America.

“Winning the U.S. Amateur Championship would be a dream come true.  I think anyone who plays the game, and loves it as much as I do would agree that winning this title would be an amazing accomplishment,” said Abelow.

Regardless of where he finishes in this year’s tournament, just being here means Steve’s already won!

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