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March 31, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – Two of Wesley Brown’s most prized possessions were a football autographed with a note of encouragement from University of South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz and a baseball signed by the USC baseball team after their return from the College World Series championship game.

A star athlete who graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1997 and USC in 2001, Brown was diagnosed with leukemia in June 2002. In his memory, his family (father, Wayne, mother, Beth and younger brother, Taylor) and his girlfriend, Rebecca Payne wanted to create an annual event for the children at Palmetto Heath Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Wesley passed away in January 2003.

Athletes from USC’s Team Gamecock will bring mascot “Cocky” Friday, April 9 at 1:00 p.m. for a visit that includes autograph sessions, room visits and photos. Chick Fil A restaurants will provide snacks for the children.

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital was the first children’s hospital in South Carolina and celebrated its 20th birthday last year. Children’s Hospital has more than 30 pediatric subspecialties including pulmonology, cardiology, surgery, oncology, radiology, neonatology, anesthesiology, endocrinology and others. A major pediatric referral center for children from all 46 counties in South Carolina, Children’s Hospital treats more than 82,000 children each year. For more information, visit