Shane Caldwell, the man from Columbia who met Tiger Woods at the Masters, has died after battling cancer.
Caldwell’s stepdaughter Jordan Miller had taken to social media in the days leading up to the golf tournament, trying to find a way to make Caldwell’s dream of meeting Woods come true. At that time, Caldwell had survived two bouts of colon cancer and was dealing with stage 4 lung cancer.
Unbeknownst to Caldwell, through Facebook and Twitter connections, Miller was able to arrange a meeting with Woods on April 5 via the golfer’s girlfriend, Erica Herman.
Herman stood next to Caldwell as Woods hit a few practice shots on the driving range, and the golfer came over and shook Caldwell’s hand and gave him an autographed glove.
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Miller said in an earlier interview that her dad was “over the moon” after the experience, and that the family had arranged another surprise for him — tickets to the Sunday final.
Sitting in the Amen Corner area, Miller and Caldwell watched Patrick Reed win the tournament.
Caldwell’s story was featured on national news outlets and ESPN.
Two weeks ago, the doctors at Duke University told the Caldwell family that the cancer had become too aggressive to fight, and the former optician chose to stop treatment rather than endure more radiation.
Caldwell hoped to live another nine months. The oncologist told his wife, Renay, that he had probably two to three months.
He had just 13 days.
Shane Caldwell passed away on Monday.
Until the end, Jordan Miller says that Caldwell was still showing the autographed golf glove to everyone and basking in the media attention. "It gave him hope to see the love that was shown to him" from all over the world, she said.
Miller says that Caldwell was "the sweetest, kindest man" who worried about his wife and kids more than himself.
Caldwell had arranged for he and his wife to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary a year early. He wanted to buy her a new wedding band, and the jeweler hand-delivered the ring to the Caldwell home last week. When Renay opened the box, Shane said it wasn't the right ring.
"He said it wasn't shiny enough," Jordan recalled.
Caldwell is survived by his wife, Renay; daughter, Rachel Caldwell; stepchildren, Jordan Miller, Derek Miller and Heather Miller, and one grandson.