We are Kristen and Robert Strong, and this site is dedicated to our son Palmer Nicklaus Strong, born 4/1/17 at 2:03p.m. at Seton Main in Austin, TX. If you’re a fan of the game of golf at all, you might have noticed his name. We decided before Palmer was even conceived to name him after golfing greats Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Being a big golfer, I thought honoring Arnie and Jack while giving our son a good strong first and middle name to go with his “Strong” last name, would set him up for a good start in life. I’m just lucky Kristen liked the name as well. If you’re married with kids, or have a child on the way, I think you know how tough it can be to get on the same page when it comes to a name.
The road to Palmer’s birth has been a scary one. Learning that your expecting your first child is supposed to be an amazing moment for a couple. And although the learning was great because Kristen told me on my birthday, this excitement quickly turned to fear, sadness, and anger when we learned of Palmer’s Heterotaxy Diagnosis in week 12 or 13. The remaining 27 weeks prior to his birth were consumed with a very mixed bag of emotions. Because our business puts me in front of the general public quite often, I got to see many new families with their children, babies and toddlers, and I found myself being jealous and sad that we would never be able to experience those immediate moments with our baby boy. After all, I had big plans for Palmer, as most parents, and especially fathers do for their child and son. It seemed really unfair (still does) and I had to catch myself and tell myself that it does me no good to feel sorry for myself. Palmer has no choice in the matter. He has to fight from the get-go. The least we could do is try to remain positive, stay true to who we are, and be strong and resilient for our little guy.
So this is what we choose to do. This page is dedicated to the journey that Palmer is facing as a Heterotaxy Heart Baby. There will be ups and downs, a few sideways hooks and slices, and perhaps even a shank or two, but in the end we fully expect to make the turn at Par or better, heading to the clubhouse strong with the 19th hole calling our name.