SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE – As part of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s continued commitment to supporting the prevention and treatment of cancer and the work of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program (MCCP), 9-year-old Jesse Richey of Boothbay was honored as an Anthem Hero at Hadlock for the courage he has displayed battling cancer at a young age. The pre-recorded ceremony took place prior to the July 20 Portland Sea Dogs game at Hadlock Field.
“Jesse has shown such strength and perseverance during his cancer battle over the last four months, and we are all inspired by his fight against this disease,” said Denise McDonough, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. “Jesse’s courage is one of the many reasons why we’re honoring him as our first Hero at Hadlock this summer, and why Anthem is proud to support the critical efforts of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program to treat and prevent childhood cancer.”
In early March, Jesse’s parents noticed the lymph nodes in his neck were swollen. After getting checked out at their local emergency room, follow-ups with his primary care physician, and discovering the rest of his lymph nodes became swollen, Jesse was admitted to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia. Jesse’s journey battling cancer has had a few bumps in the road, but thanks to the efforts of the team at the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Jesse is doing great. A rising 4th grader, Jesse loves baseball, camping, fishing, video games, spending time with family, and making TikTok videos.
“On behalf of everyone at Maine Children’s Cancer Program, we thank Anthem wholeheartedly for their continued support through the Anthem Heroes at Hadlock initiative. For many years, Anthem has provided our young patients and families with this memorable experience in an effort to honor their bravery and strength through their journey with childhood cancer,” said Ashton Hunter-Sildve, philanthropy manager at MCCP. “Anthem joined the fight against childhood cancer in 2007 and has helped the Portland Sea Dogs raise over $5 million for our program through Strike Out Cancer in Kids. We feel incredibly fortunate to have Anthem in our corner!”
The Anthem Heroes at Hadlock program provides children who have battled a serious medical condition a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Hadlock Field. Each honoree takes a celebratory home run lap around the bases of Hadlock Field prior to a Portland Sea Dogs home game (this year the runs were pre-recorded and shown on the jumbotron prior to the game). The children and their families also receive a number of Sea Dogs souvenirs and other VIP privileges at the game. The Anthem Heroes at Hadlock program will recognize two more courageous kids this season prior to the games on July 23 and July 30.