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Los Angeles Rams Rookies Score Smiles, Hugs at Cedars-Sinai

Rams Rookies Visit Cedars-Sinai Patients

As Practice Gets Underway for the 2023-24 Season, Cedars-Sinai Welcomes 40 New Team Members

Members of the Los Angeles Rams’ 2023 rookie class visited Cedars-Sinai this week, bringing smiles to patients throughout the medical center and Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.

The football players visited pediatric patients in Guerin Children’s and signed hats for patients and their families. Thea Kurpel, 9, said she would save her Rams hat for her dad, who is a Rams super fan.

Rams rookie Kobie Turner said the visit was inspirational for him and his teammates. “Being able to come and spread positivity and joy and get some fresh faces in the building, and bringing a lot of good energy—I think it makes a difference,” Turner said.

The Rams were welcomed by David Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, Cedars-Sinai senior vice president and chief nursing executive, and Bryan Croft, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Cedars-Sinai is the official health partner of the Rams.

“Bringing the Rams to ‘our house’ makes it an extra special occasion,” Croft said. “The players brought huge smiles to everyone they met, both patients and staff.” 

Marshall welcomed the players and thanked them for taking time out of their busy schedules to inject a little excitement and fun into the day.

“For patients to be able to see the players up close and personal and have the opportunity to interact with them brings smiles to their faces and gives them a little bit of hope that their day might be better,” said Marshall.

Some team members visited patients undergoing chemotherapy infusions at Cedars-Sinai Cancer while others accompanied Cedars-Sinai’s POOCH volunteers as the volunteer service dogs visited patients. And some rookies participated in Cedars-Sinai’s first official Juneteenth celebration for employees, even dancing and singing with Cedars-Sinai staff members.

Four players visited Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital and toured the entire facility while visiting patients and giving out official Rams hats. 

Back at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, visitors lucky enough to be in the lobby received a special treat when Turner, who has been playing music since he was a child, sat down at the piano and serenaded the crowd.

“It’s exciting to me to be able to show people that we are more than just athletes,” said Turner. “It’s my creative expression and a way I can connect with people, so I love it.”

Player Steve Avila said it was a great first visit and he hopes to come back. “It’s so awesome finding common interest between people and talking about that,” Avila said. “We just tried our best to up their day a little bit.”

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Childhood Cancer Survivor Aiden Duong in Rams Spotlight