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Published on June 19, 2012

MU Children's Hospital Kicks Off New Program To Enhance Patients' Experience

COLUMBIA, Mo. ― University of Missouri Health Care’s Children’s Hospital will launch a new program called Caleb’s Pitch with a visit from five MU athletes at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the hospital’s playroom.

“The mission of Caleb’s Pitch is to get college athletes involved in providing positive, fun experiences to children in the hospital through activities and games,” said Angie Ball, child-life coordinator at MU Children’s Hospital. “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.”

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. Experiences such as these, and what they meant to his nephew and his family, prompted Jacobbe to found Caleb’s Pitch.

For now, 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. Because MU Children’s Hospital will be the first hospital outside of Florida to adopt the program, Jacobbe will also be on hand Wednesday for this kick-off event.

“We are excited to start this program outside of Florida with our hospital,” said Ball. “And I am looking forward to helping make this a success!”