Annual Heart and Lung Transplant Picnic Welcomes Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew
Jul 18, 2017 Cedars-Sinai Staff
Every year, Cedars-Sinai heart transplant patients, their family members, physicians, nurses, and caregivers gather for a summer picnic and softball game. 2017 marked the 24th annual Heart and Lung Transplant Picnic.
This year, while they warmed up for the game with barbecue and lemonade, transplant patients got a pep talk from a special guest and fellow patient: Baseball Hall of Famer and heart transplant patient Rod Carew.
"I'm just like you," he told hundreds of people who gathered at Rancho Park in Los Angeles.
"It was important for me to be here today, to be part of this event, because there are a lot of people who went through what I went through."
Carew received a new heart and kidney in December 2016, and has since returned to an active routine, throwing out the first pitch at a recent Minnesota Twins baseball game and being honored at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Miami earlier this month.
Every year since 2010, Cedars-Sinai surgeons have performed more adult heart transplants than any other US medical center, according to statistics compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the nation's transplant system. In 2016, Cedars-Sinai surgeons completed 122 heart transplants.