Bronson Children’s Hospital welcomed baseball superstar Derek Jeter Thursday afternoon as he paid a surprise visit to hospitalized children and their parents.  During the visit, Jeter met one-on-one with the young patients, giving them words of encouragement and posing for photos.

The visit helped brighten the day for a number of children who face significant health challenges. Miguel Fortuna is one of the patients who met Jeter. The 15-year old is in remission from leukemia and just happened to have a follow up appointment today. “I was thinking is this really happening?” he said about Jeter’s visit. “I was going crazy on the inside. I think it’s great that there was something so positive for the patients. That’s what we need most when we are in the hospital.”

Bronson and Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation both are committed to helping enrich the lives of young people in our community. The organizations have a dedicated partnership which matches members of the Jeter’s Leaders program with intern opportunities at Bronson.  Since the partnership began five years ago, Jeter’s Leaders interns have been exposed to diverse career paths including physical therapy, pediatrics, pharmacy, safety and security. Bronson was also the host of Jeter’s Leaders’ Respect Your Health summer event which helped teach Kalamazoo area children about health living and Jeter’s ten life-lessons.