WATCH: Young cancer survivor cheered on as he runs bases at Dayton Dragons game

Credit: Samantha Wildow

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Beckett Richards, 8, ran the bases with his big brother, Aiden, 12, during the Dayton Dragons game on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Credit: Samantha Wildow

8-year-old Beckett Richards celebrates reaching remission

It was a home run for one young baseball fan who celebrated getting his life back after a battle with leukemia by running the bases Wednesday evening during the Dayton Dragons game.

Beckett Richards, 8, of West Carrollton ran the bases with his big brother, Aiden, 12, after the third inning while the Dragons were taking on the Peoria Chiefs at Day Air Ballpark as part of the Anthem Home Run for Life program. The program provides children in the Dayton region who are battling serious medical conditions with the experience of running the bases during a Dragons game.

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Local cancer survivor Beckett Richards, 8, runs the bases during a recent Dayton Dragons game with his big brother, Aiden, 12. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

Local cancer survivor Beckett Richards, 8, runs the bases during a recent Dayton Dragons game with his big brother, Aiden, 12. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

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Local cancer survivor Beckett Richards, 8, runs the bases during a recent Dayton Dragons game with his big brother, Aiden, 12. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

The crowd at the game weren’t the only ones cheering on Beckett and Aiden as their parents, Kelly and Nathan, and Beckett’s baseball team, the West Carrollton Baseball Club, lined the path to first base to cheer for them as they ran.

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“Baseball’s his favorite,” Kelly said on Wednesday.

Beckett was three years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This cancer, while having an 80% success rate, was going to take Beckett through a four-year journey. During that time, he received around 12 types of chemotherapy, 92 port infusions, over 1,200 oral chemo doses, among many other medications and procedures.

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Local cancer survivor Beckett Richards, 8, on the jumbotron at a recent Dayton Dragons game as he runs the bases. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

Local cancer survivor Beckett Richards, 8, on the jumbotron at a recent Dayton Dragons game as he runs the bases. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

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Local cancer survivor Beckett Richards, 8, on the jumbotron at a recent Dayton Dragons game as he runs the bases. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

In the middle of Beckett’s fight against leukemia, the COVID-19 pandemic added extra complications. His parents agreed they couldn’t risk Beckett being exposed at school during this time, so they decided to homeschool him and his brother while Beckett received treatment.

The steroids, chemotherapy, and infusions can be difficult on a child’s body, and with Beckett having an extremely low immune system, it can be even harder. During this time, Beckett was also diagnosed with Veno-Occlusive Disease (VOD) from the high doses of medication. He was experiencing body discomfort, a bloated abdomen, and liver failure.

Now, Beckett has reached remission after having had his final treatment in April of 2021. Beckett will be returning to school at Harold Schnell, and he will also be spending more time playing baseball. He has only been playing for two years because his diagnosis and treatment prevented him from joining the team sooner.

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Members of the West Carrollton Baseball Club who helped cheer on Beckett Richards, 8, who ran the bases at a recent Dayton Dragons game to celebrate surviving leukemia. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

Members of the West Carrollton Baseball Club who helped cheer on Beckett Richards, 8, who ran the bases at a recent Dayton Dragons game to celebrate surviving leukemia. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

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Members of the West Carrollton Baseball Club who helped cheer on Beckett Richards, 8, who ran the bases at a recent Dayton Dragons game to celebrate surviving leukemia. SAMANTHA WILDOW\STAFF

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Beckett’s parents said reaching this point in his health journey has been a relief.

“Just very blessed and fortunate to be in remission and at the end of treatment,” Kelly said about how they felt. About the Dragons’ game, she added, “This experience was another blessing to look forward.”

To learn more about Anthem Home Run for Life, please visit www.daytondragons.com/hrfl.

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