For all the memories Justin Turner has made for Los Angeles Dodgers fans on the field, they pale in comparison to the memories he has given to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) patients.
Among other things, Turner partnered with the hospital in September to have its Adidas cleats custom-designed by select patients in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The tradition started five seasons ago and continued despite the ongoing pandemic, with the only change being that Turner had to interact with children virtually rather than a face-to-face visit. This year the honor went to Maddy (12) and Georgia (16).
While the kids get a once-in-a-lifetime experience designing cleats for an MLB All-Star, Turner is equally excited and proud to wear their work.
“I made a video where I asked the kids to design the cleats and they went into the room and showed it to them, gave them all the markings and let them go to town. It was pretty cool seeing all the pictures and videos to see what they had fun with,” Turner told DodgerBlue.com.
“And it’s cool to see the cleats and what the kids like. There was SpongeBob, Kool-Aid guy and Maddy drew a picture of my face on the back and wrote Justin. And they always do the CHLA butterfly with different colors and a gold ribbon. It’s always cool to see that and then repost it so the kids can see what they did and see it on TV.”
Turner had authenticated his cleats, jersey and cap and plans to send them to CHLA for display or a fundraising initiative.
“For the past five years, Justin has been enlisting our patients to transform his Adidas cleats into one-of-a-kind works of art,” said Cynthia Diaz, a team member at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Child Life, who co-ordinates with Turner in designing his cleats.
“The experience of making an important part of Justin’s uniform and essentially ‘getting onto the field’ is so meaningful to them. We are grateful to Justin for taking the time to honor our patients each season during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”
CHLA Celebrates Justin Turner Foundation
Turner and his wife Kourtney have long supported CHLA in various endeavors, and in March 2019, the pair were added to the prestigious Spotlight Wall along with the Justin Turner Foundation.
As No. 1 on the West Coast and No. 5 in the world for specialized pediatric care, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a nonprofit that relies on the generosity of the community it serves. CHLA receives more than 500,000 patient visits each year from children in Southern California, the United States and around the world.
Are you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to use the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!