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"Children Of Steel" Meet N.Y. Yankees At Tomorrows Children's Fund Event

imus_cano_negronDeirdre Imus presents an award to N.Y. Yankees infielder Robinson Cano as Ray Negron, author of The Boy of Steel, looks on during a visit with pediatric patients at The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medi- cal Center.
HACKENSACK, N.J., September 27, 2006 -- About 50 children, many of them pediatric patients, listened in rapt attention as children’s health advocate Deirdre Imus read The Boy of Steel, a book by Ray Negron, at an event hosted by the Tomorrows Children’s Fund. The event was held in the waterfall lobby of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. Negron is a special advisor to N.Y. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
The pediatric hospital is part of the new Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s & Children’s Pavilion at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC), a 501c(3) not for profit corporation. Ms. Imus is spokesperson for the pavilion and President and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® at HUMC.
Many children in attendance sported hospital pajamas. Some came in wheelchairs and others with hanging IV bags. With a voice touched by emotion, author Ray Negron told the children that they were the true heroes for their courage and determination in facing their trials.
Also present were about 100 onlookers as well as HUMC president and chief executive officer John Ferguson, Chairman of Tomorrows Children’s Fund David Jurist, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., Hackensack Mayor Karen Sasso, the book’s illustrator, Laura Seeley, and about half a dozen N.Y. Yankees.
The vibrantly illustrated book focuses on a boy with brain cancer who dreams of becoming a batboy for the Yankees. In this case, the children present at the reading met Yankees infielder Robinson Cano, who is featured in the book, and Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang who pitched a 16-5 blowout of Baltimore that same evening. The rout of the Orioles also included a homer by Cano.
The children also lined up for autographs from catcher Wil Nieves, and pitchers Octavio Dotel, Jeff Karstens and Ron Villone.
Published by HarperCollins, The Boy of Steel: A Baseball Dream Come True is available at, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores. The book was written with the hopes of raising cancer awareness. All profits will be donated to help cancer research and education. Through the Yankees Foundation, funds will be distributed to several hospitals and organizations, including the Tomorrows Children’s Fund at HUMC and The Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.
Stuff of Dreams
Ray Negron’s own personal story is the stuff of dreams. He grew up in the Bronx, and was caught as a teenager spraying graffiti outside Yankee Stadium. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner put Negron to work, and he became a batboy. Negron loved the game and started playing in the minor leagues. He then went to work for both the N.Y. Yankees and the Cleveland Indians.
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® at HUMC represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent exposures to environmental factors that may cause adult, and especially pediatric cancer, as well as other health problems with our children.
Ms. Imus is also co-founder and co-director, with husband Don Imus, of The Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, a 4,000 acre working cattle ranch in northern New Mexico, which provides the experience of the American cowboy to children suffering from cancer and various blood diseases, and to children who have lost a brother or sister to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Hackensack University Medical Center is a nationally recognized healthcare organization offering patients the most comprehensive services, state-of-the art technologies, and facilities. A leader in providing the highest quality patient-centered care, Hackensack University Medical Center has been recognized for performance excellence encompassing the entire spectrum of hospital quality and service issues. 
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