Bobby Adamov was at a Make-A-Wish fundraiser when it hit him. 
Most of the children that the wish-granting charity helps have rare diseases, many of them hereditary. Many of them precisely the type of diseases that Exact Sciences subsidiary PreventionGenetics tests for. 
Adamov, who heads PreventionGenetics’ commercial operations, was struck by the harmony of the two groups’ aims and felt they should find a way to connect their stories. 
That happened at the recent American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, when a foursome of golfers came together in a pro-am competition to represent how the organizations make a difference in the lives of children and their families. 
On the course, Adamov joined pro golfer and Madison native Jerry Kelly and Dr. Tony Krentz, who leads laboratory operations at PreventionGenetics. Their fourth: Make-A-Wish recipient Ethan Ellefson — plus his dad, Ryan Ellefson. 
A high school senior and varsity golfer who graduated the day after the tournament, Ethan Ellefson lives with a rare kidney condition. He received a kidney transplant two years ago.  
Ethan says the opportunity to play alongside a pro in a tournament was spectacular. 
“I’ve never been so happy on a golf course before,” he told NBC15 Sports. 
And it showed. Krentz recalls Ethan smiling ear to ear, Kelly in his ear with advice at every hole.  
 “I felt incredibly grateful to be a participant and see him shine,” Krentz says of Ethan. “He wasn't defined by his condition at all. That was really special to witness.” 
The golf tournament raises funds for the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, which supports charities, educational initiatives, and organizations aimed at building strong families and healthy kids.  
Exact Sciences served as a sponsor, with some tournament proceeds benefitting American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison. Along with Make-A-Wish, the three organizations represent important steps in the journey of a young person and their family navigating a rare disease diagnosis.  
“After the great work being done at American Family Children’s Hospital, those kids come out of the hospital and go into Make-A-Wish, and they find out answers through PreventionGenetics,” Adamov says.  
Though Exact Sciences focuses on cancer diagnostics and early detection, the work done at PreventionGenetics — located in Marshfield, Wisconsin — fits the mission well, Adamov says. 
It provides tests for nearly all clinically relevant genes, with products including a whole-genome sequencing test and whole-exome sequencing test.  
“There’s no better early detection than somebody understanding their genetic profile,” Adamov says, adding that the event “helped shine a light on another way we are able to support patients across the country.” 
Beyond being a great day on the golf course, the experience teed up an unexpected benefit. 
Because Exact Sciences’ work relates to health care, “we have rules we have to follow about engaging with patients,” Adamov says. “We put the patient first all the time but don’t usually cross paths with them.” 
An event like the pro-am is a wonderful chance to get to know patients, to learn from them, to be inspired by them, he says. 
“We don’t walk in their shoes, but we’re walking right next to them. We’re hearing their stories, the grit that it took for them to make it where they are today,” he says. “It’s awesome. It helps drive our mission.”  

Community Day

As part of its sponsorship, Exact Sciences also was able to share a day at the tournament with representatives from several community partners: 
• Downtown Madison, Inc.
• Goodman Community Center
• One City Schools 
• 100 Black Men of Madison 
• Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP)
• Make-A-Wish 
• University of Wisconsin Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
• Urban League of Greater Madison 

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