Exclusive: LPGA great Leigh Ann Mills on beating cancer, healthy living & more
Leigh Ann Mills is a professional athlete who toured with the LPGA for 15 years. Prior to joining the LPGA Tour, Mills competed on the Futures, European and Asian Tours, where she won the 1990 Indonesian Open, 1990 Angso Open in Sweden, 1991 International Women’s Open and 1991 Windsor Park Futures Classic.
As a member of the Florida State University golf team, Mills recorded 15 top-10 finishes in collegiate competition. In 1987, Mills posted a fourth-place finish at the Doral Invitational. She was also a semifinalist at the 1988 Women’s Western Open.
Off the golf course, Leigh Ann Mills has been cancer-free for 5 years, thanks to the Chicago location of the Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mills about CTCA and plenty more in June 2019.
Highlights from this chat -- which included discussion of how you can live healthily after an early cancer diagnosis -- are transcribed below, while the full Q&A is embedded below.
On her proudest career accomplishment:
Leigh Ann Mills: I've won eight tournaments as a pro, but I'd have to say you know one of the ones that meant the most to me was finishing second in the LPGA tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota two weeks after my mom had passed, because my family was there and it was a big deal. It was a come-from-behind kind of story where I birdied the last six holes to get there. So you know I was super-proud of that.
On her proudest accomplishment beyond golf:
Leigh Ann Mills: I would say that I'm most proud of being really involved in my nephews' lives. I have two nephews, I have a really small family I'm very close to, it's just my brother and I and my father.
So my nephew's both play sports. One's in high school, going to Notre Dame to play football. One plays at University of Dayton. I would say that I'm most proud of my involvement in helping them achieve their goals and being close to them.
On finding out when she had cancer:
Leigh Ann Mills: Two years prior to that I had already been working at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I was an oncology information specialist, so when I was diagnosed in 2014 I was very comfortable with my team and I'd been helping patients as I still do today. I still work there today as an oncology information specialist. What I do is help patients and their families navigate the cancer landscape.