In honor of Cedars-Sinai being the official medical center of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the hospital invited former patients from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their families to Sunday’s night game against the San Francisco Giants.
Former Cedars-Sinai patient, Edward Roberts, was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Roberts was born weighing only one pound and seven ounces when he arrived at just 24 weeks. Roberts, who is now 19, is a tap dancer, pianist and athletic trainer as well as a business student at Bethune Cookman University in Florida.
He credits his success to Cedars-Sinai’s NICU, part of the Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center, and to his parents, who followed their doctor’s advice and made sure that he received extensive early interventions to strengthen his weak muscles.
Roberts’ parents had no idea that the music therapy and dance therapy he received as a child would lead to a lifetime interest in tap dancing. Roberts said he wants to tell parents of other premature infants to “keep the faith and your babies will make it just like I was able to make it.”
Roberts said that throwing out a ceremonial pitch was a “once in a lifetime experience.” His parents stayed on the field during the singing of the national anthem.
Roberts was joined on the field by Cedars-Sinai philanthropist Maxine Dunitz and Dr. Charles F. Simmons, Jr., chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Neonatology. Cedars-Sinai will be promoting the partnership with the Dodgers by distributing co-branded Dodgers/Cedars-Sinai knit caps to all babies born at the hospital.
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