Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers

An 8-year-old boy who suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia and who has been befriended by Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner will throw the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Luke Lang, who lives in Bellmore, New York, was diagnosed on March 28, 2013, with the type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. He first met Turner in July 2013 when Turner was playing for the New York Mets.

The meeting was the first time Luke was able to leave home since his diagnosis and hospitalization. The two exchanged gifts with Luke giving Turner a bracelet carrying his motto, “Losing is not an option” and Turner giving Luke a signed bat.

Since their first meeting, Luke has joined Turner at Dodger playoff games and Turner celebrated the Dodgers assuring themselves of the National League West Division championship with Luke last September at Universal Studios.

Turner surprised Luke by visiting him at his Little League game when the Dodgers were playing in New York in July.

The first pitch coincides with the first day of national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the giveaway of a Turner bobblehead to the first 40,000 fans in attendance.

—City News Service

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