A Prince Edward Island boy who fought and won his battle against cancer is getting ready to throw the first pitch for his favourite baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Harrison Maye, 7, will be heading to Toronto next week to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Aug. 9 before the Jays’ game against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. The opportunity is through a sponsorship between Dairy Queen Canada and the Blue Jays, as well as their more than 30-year involvement with Children’s Miracle Network and the IWK.
Maye is originally from Fort Augustus, P.E.I., where his love of baseball began when he watched his father play recreationally in the town. At five, he joined the DQ Rally Cup baseball program, which introduces players and coaches to the sport’s fundamentals, according to an IWK release.
As the five-year-old was learning the ropes, he had to stop after four practices after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which hinders the body’s ability to battle infection by affecting the lymphatic system. Maye, however, still went to baseball practice the day of his diagnosis.
The young baseball lover received chemotherapy treatments at both the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and his own home hospital in Charlottetown. Late last year, he was declared cancer-free after five months of treatment and returned to the baseball diamond this summer.
Maye’s mother, Sherri, said they were grateful for the opportunity for her son and the work by Dairy Queen in supporting the IWK.
“Harrison and our family are beyond excited about the upcoming Blue Jays game,” she said in the release.
The seven-year-old, now seven months cancer-free, and his family will also be shown around the Rogers Centre, run bases on the field, meet the Jays’ mascot ACE and even get to know some of his favourite players.
His first pitch also is in honour of DQ Miracle Treat Day which takes place Aug. 10 with all proceeds from each Blizzard sold going to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals including the IWK.