Four-time PGA Tour winner Camilo Villegas’ daughter Mia died on Sunday in Miami after a lengthy battle with cancerous tumors on her brain and spine.
She was 22 months old.
Villegas announced last month that he and his wife, Maria, had taken Mia to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami in March — a few weeks after they first started noticing she was acting strange.
“She always went to the gym with me; it was one of our bonding spots,” Villegas said before the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass in June, via the PGA Tour. “She was always like a little monkey, climbing on everything. But then one day, I noticed she had not been climbing on anything. She had also been crying a little more than normal at night. She had been teething, so we took her to the pediatrician, thinking it was that.”
Scans revealed a pair of tumors growing on both her brain and spine. Mia underwent surgery, but needed more treatment because “the growth had become pretty aggressive.”
“We were told we needed to start treatment right away, so they kept us there,” he said, via the PGA Tour. “Physically, though, she wasn’t ready to get the kind of chemo doctors were hoping for … [The doctor] said that if he had given me the treatment, I wouldn’t have survived.”
Villegas’ last win on Tour came at the 2014 Wyndham Championship. He won both the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship in 2008, too. The 38-year-old has appeared in just one Tour event this season, though failed to make the cut at the Honda Classic. He last competed on the Korn Ferry Tour at the Korn Ferry Challenge last month, finishing T33.
“The PGA Tour is deeply saddened having lost a member of our family, Mia Villegas,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “We grieve with Camilo and Maria and our thoughts and prayers are with the Villegas family.”
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