MU Athletes and Childrens Hospital Prepare for "Caleb's Pitch"

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COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Health Care's Children's Hospital will launch a new program called Caleb's Pitch Wednesday in partnership with MU athletes. 

Five MU athletes will meet with children in the hospital's playroom to participate in hands-on activities, games, and talk with the patients.  The goal of the program is to offer positive and motivative experiences for children struggling with diseases.

"It's a way for our pediatric and adolescent patients to interact with our local athletes in a way that is fun and makes the kids' hospital stay less clinical," said Angie Ball, child-life coordinator at MU Children's Hospital, in a press release.

Caleb's Pitch Inc. was founded by Tim Jacobbe, a faculty member at the University of Florida, to honor the memory of his nephew, Caleb Jacobbe. Eight-year-old Caleb passed away from cancer in 2006, but he was able to fulfill a dream by visiting with the Boston Red Sox and throwing out the first pitch of a baseball game just weeks before his death.

This esperience prompted Tim Jacobbe to create the program and spread awareness of the joy Caleb was able to experience before his passing.

Ball's team is working with the MU Athletic Department to bring five athletes to Children's Hospital each month for a one-hour session of syringe art painting.

MU Children's Hospital will be the first hospital outside of Florida to adopt the program.  Tim Jacobbe will be attending the kick-off event.

The event takes place at 10 a.m. at the MU Children's hospital.