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Templeton man facing a rare illness stops by UC Santa Barbara to continue his first pitch effort to create an awareness campaign

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A Templeton man who grew up in Goleta has returned to be part of the first-pitch ceremony at UC Santa Barbara's baseball game Tuesday. It's part of his awareness campaign for the illness he has, called Inclusion Body Myositis, that weakens muscles over time.

Vance Robinson has been going specifically to baseball games because he was a baseball player as a young athlete, in Goleta.

He ha been battling the disease since 2016.  

His effort to throw out first pitches at college games has already had him on the mound throughout California. He ha also given out wrist bands to teams throughout the U.S. where he has connected with the players.

These days he is in a wheel chair and can not grip a ball anymore.

His four-year old niece Evie came out with him at Tuesday's game prior to UCSB taking on St. Mary's on the Gaucho home field. She threw the ball on his behalf with an over hand toss that was short on distance but big on the impact with a cheering crowd.

Earlier in the afternoon Robinson hung out with his old friends from Goleta and had a hot dog tail gate party.

Robinson said, "when I first got this, nobody knew about myositis, and now one of my social media has over 100,000 hits. So it's baseball related probably why I got the hits but still the myositis awareness is on there so I think its made a huge difference in getting the word out."

The Gaucho squad lined up to welcome Robinson and made a player tunnel for Evie to run through. She kept the baseball as a souvenir.

Earlier this year Robinson also appeared at a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo game for another first pitch event to raise awareness for the myositis.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Santa Barbara

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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