Jeane Hofheimer remembers when Multiple Sclerosis first struck, when she was a young mother in 1954. The first symptoms occurred two years before the Washington resident won the women's golf championship at Rockville's Woodmont Country Club.
"I lost the sight of my left eye," said Hofheimer, now 67. "It just got clouded over, and in a couple of weeks, the sight was gone completely. That is one symptom of MS. They also diagnosed it as possibly a brain tumor."
After cortizone treaments, her sight was completely restored, and she had no problems for three years. "I was back on the golf course," she said.
But then, "I started getting attacks in my right side," Hofheimer said. "I kept getting attacks -- getting over them and getting back on the golf course -- for 10 years, but I was finally unable to walk without a brace and a cane."
In 1964, Hofheimer could no longer play golf.
She has been in a wheelchair for 13 years, physically, but not spiritually, confined. "I putt every year. Some of the golfers ask me to be the designated putter. My left arm is perfect. That's the one I putt with. The lower part of my body and my right arm are bad."
Fourteen years ago, Hofheimer started her own tournament to raise money to fight MS. It started humbly, raising $200 the first year. Since then, she has raised more than $100,000. Now, women from more than 50 area courses pay entry fees of $5 or more, trying to shoot low scores and qualify for Hofheimer's grand season-ending MS tournament at Woodmont on Oct. 9. Each of the last two years, her efforts have raised $15,000.
She has been to several Kemper Opens and other PGA Tour events, and corresponds with Arnold Palmer, Chi Chi Rodriguez and her favorite LPGA pro, Amy Alcott.
"There is no cure for MS and no one knows how it starts," Hofheimer said. "It hasn't got me down. Keeping busy has a lot to do with it -- keeping spirits up. I have a supportive husband, three supportive sons and seven wonderful and understanding grandchildren."
Amateur Marty West of Rockville, who shot an opening-round 65 last year at Lakewood and went on to win the Maryland Open, will defend that title at Fountain Head in Hagerstown July 6-8 . . . Charlie Holden and Chuck Freedman of Belle Haven shot 67 at Norbeck to win the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association Four Ball. Guy Cavallo of Chantilly and Gene Tassone of Reston won the seniors tournament with a 69. Steve Yachmetz of Montgomery Village and Gary Gosnell of Manor had the low net of 63. Walter Robertson and Jim Husted of Manor won senior net with 61 . . . The United Negro College Fund tournament will be Monday, July 27, at Indian Spring. The deadline to buy tickets is July 13. The event is hosted by the Washington, D.C., Golf Club, a chapter of the National Negro Golf Association. For more information, call Walt Wright at 596-4241 . . . Wake Robin Golf Club will hold its Golden Anniversary Classic July 25 at Lake Arbor. Entry deadline for the event, which benefits the Interclub Federation Junior Golf Academy and the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, is July 15. For more information contact Winnie Stanford 423-5923, Betty Brabble at 773-1515 or Dorothy Bennett at 829-2981 . . . Full fields of juniors are expected for the Gorin Memorial July 6-9 at Woodmont, and the the Bowers Memorial July 13-16 at Springfield.