SAN DIEGO — Twelve teenage patients from Rady Children’s Hospital are getting major league treatment.
They are officially Padres for the weekend, joining the team for spring training in Peoria, Arizona.
Decked-out in brown and gold, before leaving San Diego, they signed team contracts with the help of Padres CEO Erik Greupner.
“This is a really special trip and it’s a really special time to just enjoy baseball, time together, the beauty of life and spring training,” said Greupner.
The patients, 13 to 17 years old, have all been receiving cancer treatment at Rady’s.
“It’s been a long journey from these last two years but I’m really happy to finally get a break from everything that’s like going on my life and to have such a great weekend,” said Nayleen Griffith, a 15-year-old who is recovering from a brain tumor.
This is the second annual Padres Spring Training Experience. The Padres and Rady’s haven’t been able to do this the past couple of years because of the pandemic.
After signing their deals, the kids were met with cheers as they got on a bus to catch a flight to Arizona — ready for a weekend of hanging out with players and coaches, with full access to the team’s spring training facilities.
“These are teenagers that unfortunately have been fighting cancer. As a result, have not had a lot of normal life experiences. So for them to go away from their parents for the weekend and hang out with Padres players, get first class treatment and really be welcomed in as part of the organization — it’s special and our players love this weekend. As an organization, we couldn’t be more excited for it and it’s gonna be pretty awesome,” said Greupner.
The teens have been receiving treatment at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s.
The Peckham family is also a sponsor for this special trip.