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Lamb establishes 'Kids with Courage' program

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- When he walked through Phoenix Children's Hospital recently and saw a young girl with leukemia, the memories came rushing back for D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb.

When Lamb was six years old he watched his sister, Megan, then three, wage -- and ultimately win -- a battle with leukemia.

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PHOENIX -- When he walked through Phoenix Children's Hospital recently and saw a young girl with leukemia, the memories came rushing back for D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb.

When Lamb was six years old he watched his sister, Megan, then three, wage -- and ultimately win -- a battle with leukemia.

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"I didn't really know what was going on at the time," Lamb said. "Now looking back and remembering my sister crying all the time and going through chemo and being in pain all the time and having issues taking her medicine: It was hard."

As a way of giving back, Lamb has started a program called "Kids with Courage" and he will host kids and families affected by pediatric cancer once a month at Chase Field.

The families will get a chance to visit with Lamb and his teammates, as well as watch batting practice from the field.

"If we can just distract them for five minutes to a couple of hours and have them forget their current situation and just enjoy being around us and have some fun, then it's a win," Lamb said. "Because they're going through hell right now."

While he understands that the experience can have a positive impact on the families, Lamb is hesitant to accept praise for the program.

For him, it's the least he can do as someone who is able to play Major League Baseball.

"We forget how good we have it," Lamb said. "We get so locked in on results and winning, and that's great. I want to have results, I want to win, but this is just a game that we play. They're dealing with real life stuff. I'm just trying to help out any way that I can. It wasn't easy. Seeing a little girl walking down a [hospital] hall with a nurse, crying in pain, just kind of brought back some ugly memories, but I have to get over that. Because having the platform that I have, I should do what I can."

When asked what Megan's reaction was when she heard about the program, Lamb flashed his trademark sense of humor.

"She's got a new job, and I called to tell her, but she big-leagued me and hasn't called back," he said. "Now she'll just have to read about it."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Jake Lamb