ThinkCure! Weekend 2014: Patients Take the Field at Dodgers Stadium

Published on 
August 26, 2014

On August 23-24, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles patients and doctors from the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases took the field at Dodgers Stadium for ThinkCure! Weekend. The annual two-day event benefits cancer research at CHLA and City of Hope by raising funds and creating awareness of childhood cancer.

Patients shared their story

The event, which took place during the pre-game, focused on nine of our patients who have battled or are currently battling cancer. Each received an experience of a lifetime as they participated in ‘Kids Take the Field’ and met some of their favorite Dodgers. On Friday night, CHLA had the opportunity to share two patient stories on the jumbotron at Dodgers Stadium. The first was Luke French, who is a huge fan of Dodgers baseball. Luke was diagnosed in 2012 with medulloblastoma, a highly malignant brain tumor, and has undergone five rounds of chemotherapy. Fortunately, the cancer is gone and Luke is able to run again, return to Little League baseball and was able to join us on a night that ties his condition and passion so well.

On the same night, a special tribute was held in Sophia Andrade’s honor. ThinkCure! and the Dodgers hold a special place in the hearts of Sophia and her parents. At last year’s event, Tommy Lasorda, past Dodgers manager, shared a touching moment with Sophia and her beloved stuffed toy, Nemo, and had the honor of being her “boyfriend.” Sophia was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2011. She went through 21 months of intense treatment and by the end, her scans had revealed “No Evidence of Disease.” Unfortunately, her disease returned a few months later. After another valiant battle, Sophia gained her angel wings on January 12, 2014. CHLA and ThinkCure! invited Sophia’s parents, Jim and Sandra Andrade, and together we honored her memory and the many children battling cancer.

Doctors supported and participated

Many of our doctors from the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases also took the field on Friday night. Alan Wayne, MD, director of Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases, was able to throw out Friday night’s first pitch and was also presented a check for nearly $200,000 from ThinkCure! Board Member and YAS Founder, Kimberly Fowler, on Saturday night. The doctors that participated included:

  • Hisham Abdel-Azim, MD, director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Fellowship Program
  • Anat Epstein, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics and Pathology at CHLA and the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
  • Charles J. Gomer, MD, professor of Pediatrics and Radiation Oncology at CHLA and the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
  • Neena Kapoor, MD, section head for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, director of Blood and Transplant Laboratory, and director of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Program
  • Yong-mi Kim, MD, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Hematology-Oncology division at CHLA and the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
  • Rex Moats, MD, cancer researcher and assistant professor in Radiology, Biomedical and Engineering, and Pathology at CHLA and USC.
  • Robert Seeger, MD, section head for Research at CHLA’s Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and director of the Cancer Program at the Saban Research Institute at CHLA.

To give our patients and doctors a round of applause, share this post on your favorite social media channel! It was a memorable weekend for Dodgers fans, players and many others.

To see photos from the weekend, visit our Pinterest. Follow Children's Hospital Los Angeles's board ThinkCure! with the L.A. Dodgers on Pinterest.