Hawbaker is a person with a story, but recently, she also became a statistic.

“It was upsetting at first, absolutely,” recalled Katie Hawbaker.

She’s one of approximately 18,000 people under the age of 50, each year, who are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States.

“It was great to catch it early,” shared Hawbaker. “The image came back that is has not spread to my lungs or liver.”

Cologuard makes a colon cancer screening product and it sponsors Tucson’s PGA Tour Champions event, which is moving to Westin La Paloma next year. Exact Sciences, its parent company, was looking for those who would share her story.

“Glad to join in with the group and meet people who are going through a lot of the same things,” expressed Hawbaker.

The purpose is to highlight the tournament’s mission. As it turns out, Hawbaker had a connection to golf all along. Her first cousin, Todd Hamilton, won the 2004 British Open. They grew up in Illinois.

“We’re close,” Hawbaker revealed.

Hamilton is not expected to be at the the 2024 Cologaurd Classic, as he doesn’t currently play on the Tour Champions. Hawbaker plans on attending.

On Saturday, she was recognized at Arizona Stadium with other colon cancer honorees and survivors. She is sharing her message regarding getting screened.

“Get the results and attack it before it attacks you,” advised.