DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Rockies are going to bat with UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital to help knock Leukemia out of the park and out of patients’ lives.
Every time a Colorado Rockies player hits a home run to left field, landing on the large red and white baseball mitt, UCHealth will donate $5,000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The society will then use the money to fund research in to leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.
To help bring attention to the cause, the Colorado Rockies hosted UCHealth and Mike Brashear at their game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brashear received his treatment for leukemia at UCHealth, and credited their staff for helping him overcome cancer with a smile on his face.
“I was about 39 (years old) when I got diagnosed,” Brashear told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “I’m not going to tell you it was easy. Treatment was pretty tough.”
Described as a community, Brashear said the staff at UCHealth would not only help treat him, but would also help him pass time by visiting together. He said that support and the love from his family helped him beat cancer.
“This December, Dec. 31, I will be free and clear of my cancer. Five years, man. We are pretty excited about that,” Brashear said.
It is success stories like Brashear’s that encouraged UCHealth to partner with the Colorado Rockies. Prior to the first pitch, fans at the Rockies’ game were told Brashear’s story, as he stood with his family behind home plate. Camera shy, Brashear simply smiled and waved at the camera, as the crowd applauded him.
“I should get a bat and be like Babe Ruth, and point it out (at the mitt in left field),” Brashear said.
Brashear said he did not deserve the attention he was receiving from the crowd, or anyone else. Moments after his story was shared at Coors Field, he said he felt bad for other fans in the stands who likely had more trying times and were not being recognized.
However, now with a greater reason to root for the Rockies to hit home runs, Brashear said he could see how the game of baseball, and a battle with cancer, are more alike than once believed.
“Baseball is a whole lot like life. There (are) multiple innings. There’s times where you completely strike out,” Brashear said. “And, then, for whatever reason the bases are loaded. You step up to the plate, boom, knock out a grand slam and you win the game. I think life is a lot like that.”