Everyone Wins in the Battle of the Badges

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MTT News's picture
Cameron Bren
Four year-old Blake Rickert and his parents, Jill and Kevin Rickert of Fitchburg, were the honored guests at the game.

Middleton’s police and fire departments faced off Saturday in their third annual softball game fundraiser benefit, “The Battle of the Badges.” 

The “Guns” and the “Hoses” played aggressively but lightheartedly.  Viewers enjoyed concessions and raffles that raised money to help families affected by childhood cancer. 
Four year-old Blake Rickert and his parents, Jill and Kevin Rickert of Fitchburg, were the honored guests at the game.  
Blake was diagnosed with Burkitt Leukemia in January. Doctors are treating his disease with an aggressive treatment protocol at American Family Children’s Hospital.
Blake was initially diagnosed with influenza and then pneumonia.  When Jill and Kevin realized Blake was not getting better, they took him to the UW Children’s Hospital, where an ultrasound discovered fluid outside of is stomach wall.  CT scans and a bone marrow biopsy revealed tumors in Blake’s stomach and leukemic cells in his bone marrow. 
The leukemia made it difficult for Blake to breath because of fluid build up.  His cancer is a rapidly growing type that can double in size every 14 hours. But while rare and aggresive, the disease is strongly affected by chemotherapy, giving patients a good survival rate.
Since the initial diagnosis, Blake has been at the hospital more than he’s been home, though at the game Blake appeared healthy and engaged.  
“It was such a fun day that was enjoyed by everyone that was there. Thank you to the Middleton Fire District and Middleton Police Department for coming together and having this event and putting more awareness out there for childhood cancer,” Jill Rickert said after the game.  “It was just perfect.  They made Blake the honoree and had him do so many fun things, he is still talking about his home run.”  
“Seeing him run around the bases was a great moment,” Jill continued.  “He has come so far and been through a lot this year so it was just so good to see him out there healthy and having a blast. Thank you to everyone that came. It meant so much to us to have you there and have your support.”
“The firefighters put up more points than police officers did in the softball game, but seeing Blake’s smile and some of these other great images remind us that we all won,” noted Keith Cleasby, dispatcher and social media manager at the Police Department.  “On behalf of Middleton Police, Fire & EMS, and the Rickert family, thank you to everyone who planned, supported and attended the Battle of the Badges 5K and softball game.”
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