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Layd'n Hinderlighter reaches State Golf amid lengthy cancer battle

KWCH - Channel 12 News

Published: Apr. 30, 2024 at 11:20 PM CDT

CHASE, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - In Rice County, you find the small town of Chase, Kansas. It holds a population of 396 and home to Laydn Hinderliter - a state qualifier in sands green golf.

“I watched my dad and my brother and liked it and started picking up on it,” said Laydn.

Laydn is a sophomore at Chase and one of only seven students in his class.

You wouldn’t know it by his mighty swing, but his path to the championship meet is far from his biggest battle. “[He’s] one of the toughest individuals I know,” said Chase head golf coach Mike Marzolf.

At just the age of 8, Laydn’s life took a turn.

“He came home from a baseball game one night and started screaming at 3 o’clock in the morning talking about the middle of his back,” said Laydn’s father Steve Hinderlater.

The diagnosis was stage four neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that starts in nerve cells.

“I didn’t quite know what it was at first,” said Laydn. “A couple years into it I kind of realized how scary it was.”

“Whenever you’re told your child has cancer, you think the world’s against you,” said Steve Hinderlater.

Laydn travels to Wichita every six weeks, staying one week at a time, receiving rounds of chemotherapy.

“I mean, he’s been battling for 7, almost 8 years. So half his life,” Hinderliter said. Earlier this month, Laydn accomplished a life-long dream of qualifying for state, where his fight will be on display.

“The first meet of the year was here [in Chase],” said Marzolf. “[Laydn] was gone for treatments. . . His next treatment is a week from state, so he’s probably not going to be a full strength for state.

“I’m proud of him, very proud of him,” said Hinderliter. “That’s a big accomplishment.”

“Never give up and don’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do,” Laydn said.

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