DeMarre Carroll to visit young patients at Columbia hospital

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COLUMBIA - Former MU basketball star and current NBA player DeMarre Carroll, otherwise known as the "Junkyard Dog," is expected to visit the MU Women's and Children's Hospital at 4 p.m. Tuesday to meet with more than 20 patients dealing with pediatric liver disease and other related illnesses.

He recently formed the Carroll Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to raise awareness of pediatric liver disease.

According to the foundation's website, Carroll was diagnosed with liver disease a few weeks before the 2009 NBA Draft.

MU Health Media Relations Coordinator Stephanie Baehman said the children should have a good experience when Carroll makes his first trip to the hospital on behalf of his foundation.

"The kids get real excited when a person of his stature comes," Baehman said. "Since he went through a similar illness as the patients, he will really be able to relate to them."

Carroll hosts annual basketball camps across the country, and Columbia's version is scheduled to start Tuesday at Father Tolton Catholic High School.

Carroll is currently on the roster of the Toronto Raptors. He was part of the Missouri basketball program from 2006 to 2008, which included a trip to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in his senior season.