DENVER (CBS4) – Several members of the Denver Broncos hit the diamond at Coors Field for a good cause Tuesday. UCHealth’s Third Annual Healthy Swings Charity Home Run Derby, brought together professional athletes and local media to raise money to fund blood cancer research.

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“I hope they raise so much money. I’ll do anything I can to help these organizations,” said Vince Broccolo, at cancer patient at UCHealth. Broccolo was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). In late 2017, the same disease took his brothers life.

“He lasted only six months… it tore him apart,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

Since then he’s being receiving treatment at UCHealth. Tuesday he and other patients got to see Broncos players swing for the fences.

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Each participant in the derby was given up to two minutes to hit baseballs, working to hit a set of targets in the outfield, hit a home run or just make contact between the bat and baseball. For every hit made, UCHealth donated varied amounts on each target to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help support blood cancer research.

Broncos fullback Andy Janovich took home the winner’s trophy with his swings, including home runs and the UCHealth “Hit the Mitt” target in left field resulting in an additional $5,000 donation. Casey Kreiter and Brandon McManus also hit home runs.

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In the end UCHealth donated $98,700 to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Rocky Mountain Chapter. The Broncos’ Casey Kreiter personally donated the remainder to bring the grand total to $100,000.

Each year for UCHealth’s Healthy Swings: Charity Home Run Derby, the health care system selects a local nonprofit as the beneficiary.

Last year, UCHealth and the derby benefited the Gold Crown Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit that supports over 20,000 boys and girls annually through youth sports and education programs. The year before, in the event’s inaugural year, UCHealth donated to the National Stroke Association.

Dominic Garcia

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