The Crusader Newspaper Group

Pediatric cancer survivor to serve as Honorary Cubs Bat Kid April 22

Photo caption: Wrigley Field

Thirteen-year-old from Park Ridge will receive VIP treatment through Advocate Health Care’s Bat Kid program

Joey Clark, a 13-year-old Cubs fan from Park Ridge who recently overcame a lengthy battle with B Cell Lymphoma, will serve as Advocate Health Care’s Honorary Cubs Bat Kid on Saturday, April 22 when the Cubs play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field at 1:20 p.m. Joey will sit in the dugout and enjoy batting practice before the game, receive a customized jersey, a baseball for players to sign and be featured on the video board during the game with his family.

Members of the media are welcome to shoot video and interview Joey and his family on the warning track near the Cubs dugout between 11-11:45 a.m. prior to first pitch. Please contact Adam Widman at [email protected] or call 614-572-6903 for more information and to RSVP. A daily or seasonal credential will be required to attend.

Joey’s story began in the summer of 2022 when a lymph node in his neck swelled up. After taking prescribed antibiotics, things returned to normal for the most part. However, a couple months later, after severe fever and flu symptoms came and went for a few weeks, he was eventually diagnosed with low iron levels. After about 12 days on iron pills, he again broke out in a fever and was worse than before.

On October 22, 2022, his family rushed him to the ER, and a few hours later things took a very unexpected turn. The doctor told Joey and his family that his lymph nodes were swollen, he had fluid in his chest cavity, and suspected he was likely suffering from cancer. His father, Michael, said “you could have heard a pin drop in the room. Joey was 13 and said, ‘I don’t want to die’.”

Joey needed to be transferred to a pediatric ICU bed at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge and was transferred via ambulance that afternoon. Early on in his ICU stay, the doctors diagnosed Joey with B-Cell Lymphoma, a type of cancer that forms in white blood cells which are used to fight off infections in the body. Throughout his physical and emotional draining process, Joey chose a positive attitude and successfully completed four rounds of chemotherapy. He was discharged after four rounds on January 18, 2023, and rang the bell on January 25, 2023. He has continued to improve ever since.

About Advocate Health Care 

Advocate Health Care is the largest health system in Illinois and a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care. One of the state’s largest private employers, the system serves patients across 10 hospitals, including two children’s campuses, and more than 250 sites of care. Advocate Health Care, in addition to Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin and Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, is now a part of Advocate Health, the fifth-largest nonprofit, integrated health system in the United States. Committed to providing equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $5 billion in annual community benefits.

Recent News

Scroll to Top