Los Angeles

Ben Pearson, 17-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Throws Out Ceremonial First Pitch at Dodger Game

Ben Pearson, a 17-year-old cancer patient from Cedars Sinai, turned a tragedy into a triumph when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Dodger game on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Dreams really do come true.

It's 74 degrees on a calm Tuesday evening as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks prepare to do battle in what should be a National League Division Series preview. 

The smell of fresh cut Bermuda grass, popcorn, and the world famous Dodger dog is in the air, but for 17-year-old Ben Pearson, he's focused on just one thing: 

Throwing a strike.

You might have noticed all the yellow equipment and ribbons worn by MLB players last weekend. That's because September is officially Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

"Wake me up when September ends," is a phrase Pearson knows all too well.

He was diagnosed with leukemia at 7 years old and after three years of treatment at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, he's been a volunteer for the medical center for the last seven years.

Pearson didn't just want to beat cancer—he's been in remission for the last seven years—he wanted to make the battle against it part of his life.

While most kids who are diagnosed with cancer simply want to go back to their normal life of being a kid, Pearson became interested in cancer and the medical treatments for weakening it.  

After his three years of treatment, he became a teen volunteer at the same hospital that restored him to health in order to help motivate others and find a cure. 

Now a junior in high school, Pearson still sits and visits with the same nurses and doctors who cared for him during his three-year fight with leukemia. 

Another passion of Pearson is baseball. As a lifelong Dodger fan, Ben has frequently visited Chavez Ravine with his family to catch his favorite team and players in action.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers offered him the chance of a lifetime as he was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

Pearson was joined on the field by his brother, his parents, and his grandparents and threw a dart to home plate that sent the crowd into applause. 

With one dream accomplished, Pearson now plans to work on his second one, becoming a surgical oncologist. 

Best of luck to you, Ben! 

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