PGA Champions tour golfer and Madison native Jerry Kelly experienced the loss of a friend.
Now, he is experiencing health scares to his great friend Steve Stricker and his wife Carol with kidney cancer.
"You know, she's doing great," Kelly says. "Just had a complete kidney removal and a lot of bad stuff in there. It's back to real life."
But, Stricker's mysterious illness shook him.
"When your contemporaries come down to this with all these things, you feel bulletproof when you're younger," Kelly says. "You start realizing your own mortality and things you have to do. We still don't know what happened to Steve. But it was terrible. It was very bad and that's a month and a half, at least of really, really bad situation. The girls couldn't come in and see him. It could just be Nicki in there."
It takes on even more meaning with Kelly playing to honor friend Rob Andringa, the Wisconsin Badgers hockey player who died of colon cancer two years ago at the age of 51, this weekend.
"But if had been 45, he'd be with us right now," Kelly says. "That's a tough pill for me to swallow. I can't imagine the family. That's why we push this tournament for early detection, and to not have Ringo with us is a really hard thing. He touched so many people."
Kelly is also a good friend of Aaron Rodgers. No inside knowledge, but he has thoughts.
"He's been nice enough to text me a bunch of times at the start of my season, stuff like that," Kelly says. "We keep in touch, no question. But you know, when it comes to his job and his future? I'd like to see the team actually get behind Aaron Rodgers. I really hope it doesn't come down to anything but a total love fest."