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San Diego Padres sign Rady Children's cancer patients for spring training

Posted at 12:06 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-09 11:01:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego Padres took a dozen teens undergoing cancer treatment to Spring Training this week.

After spending months in and out of Rady Children’s Hospital, the teens say they were excited to get to experience what it feels like to be a normal kid again.

“I have osteosarcoma, it's a bone cancer, it was in my leg, and I recently got it is surgically removed,” says patient Nicholas Herrmann. But today, lab tests and screenings are the last things on his mind. “It sounds so fun. We get to go out with a great group of guys and a great group of girls here.”

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The teens signed their honorary contracts with the Padres and grabbed their jerseys before heading to Peoria, Arizona. For three days, they will get to meet players, attend batting practice and a game versus the Cincinnati Reds.

This is the first year for the program. Parents say this trip is an excellent way for the teens to gain independence and form friendships with others.

“It's so hard for them. My son is not in school, a lot of other kids aren’t in school either, so they’re not having that social interaction all the time,” says Nichole Elliott- Herrmann. “For us just to see them have fun and have a smile on their face, and not having to go into the hospital is amazing.”

Parents will be staying behind for this trip. A group of caregivers, including doctors and nurses, accompanied the teens to make sure they are in good health.