Hunter was diagnosed with LCH (Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis) at one month old. LCH is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in 200,000 children.
According to the St. Jude’s website “Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disorder in which the body makes too many dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are a form of histiocyte, or white blood cell. These cells play a role in the body’s immune system. They can be found in the skin, lungs, stomach, bone, eyes and intestines. In LCH, dendritic cells build up, forming tumors and disrupting the normal function of tissues.”
Because LCH is a form of cancer it often requires treatment with chemotherapy. It most commonly affects the skin and bones. The disease however can involve any organ in the body, including lymph nodes, lungs, liver, spleen, bone marrow or brain.
Hunter’s parents have a Facebook page “Fight Like Hunter” where you can follow his progress. This however is not how we first learned of Hunter.
Talking with Hunter’s mom, Ashlee, she sent me a history and the things they have gone through since June. She told me, “Hunter Keith Richardson was born June 24, 2020. He is the son of Jody and Ashlee Richardson and little brother to Taylor and Jake Richardson. At one month old, Hunter was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), an extremely rare cancer.”
Fight Like Hunter
February 2021, Volume 122
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As if this isn’t scary enough the rarity of the cancer is just as concerning. She went on to tell me, “About one out of every 200,000 children develop LCH each year and one in a million are born with LCH. The simplest explanation of LCH is that it’s an overproduction of cells and they can attack any part of the body at any time. Originally, the LCH was only present on Hunter’s skin.”
However, “He did a 6 week round of heavy steroids with the hopes that it would ‘kickstart’ his cells into doing the right thing. Unfortunately, at end of that treatment, his repeat scans revealed that he had a lesion on his skull and ribs. Hunter was then considered to have multi-symptom LCH, which put him in a high risk category.”
With the additional high risk category, “Hunter tested positive for the Braf mutation and that means that his form of LCH is more likely to reoccur and sometimes can be trickier to treat. In October, Hunter has started weekly chemotherapy treatments that will last for at least a year. Along with his weekly chemo infusion, he gets several doses of various medications each day including an oral chemo at home and heavy blast of steroids.” These treatments and the expenses that go along with them are far from cheap. Hopefully the Fight for Hunter Benefit Bass Tournament will help this family. In a time when the last of their worries should be finances.
Ashlee continued by saying, “Hunter will have regularly scheduled PET/CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, x-rays, bone marrow biopsies, blood and urine tests every 4 months while undergoing treatment and then for the duration of his life upon completion of treatment. Hunter has already undergone more invasive testing than most of us will have to endure in a lifetime. Although this is a very complex disease, the prognosis can be good with extensive chemotherapy and steroid treatments although there is no widely accepted cure.”
The bass fishing community in Louisiana is as unique as any I’ve ever seen. At Bassin’ in the Boot we have numerous contacts we have never actually met in person but follow on our social media pages. One such angler we have contact with because he is very busy in the bass fishing scene in South Louisiana is Brandon Sanchez. The first time I actually “met” Brandon was on a recent bass fishing trip down south.
Brandon had posted on Facebook and was accepting donations and things for the “Fight Like Hunter” Benefit Bass Tournament he was putting on March 6, 2021. Here at Bassin’ in the Boot we knew we wanted to cover the event and our sister company Shongaloo Outdoors wanted to donate a give a way package of soft plastics. I delivered the bait package to Brandon at a bass tournament we both fished on the 9th, a cold January morning on the Tchefuncte River.
I reached out to Brandon for a comment and to see how he got involved with Hunter and his family. This is what he told me, “I threw myself into this man. Nobody asked me to do this. I see some post of this baby all over Facebook and they are in our community. I reached out to some people to make sure I wasn’t over stepping my boundaries with throwing a benefit. Once I got the ok, I went all in.”
So often we see in Louisiana, good people doing great things. This is no different as Brandon went on to tell me, “It’s all about giving back man. It’s all about doing something positive in this negative world we live in. I gain nothing from this. My kids see me doing this too. Hopefully they’ll gain something from it.” Not only to give back and help a neighbor but to show his children that is what good people do is exactly what this world needs more of this day and age.
Brandon went on to say exactly what we all are thinking, “I couldn’t imagine the hurt I would have if something was wrong with my children.” Brandon wanted to help and “figured I could use fishing (A sport that we absolutely love) and take a little hurt off a family in need. I’m doing it now and if someone called tomorrow I’d do it again. It’s a whole lot of work man!! A WHOLE LOT. But on March 6th when I hand over the little money I’ve raised for this family it’ll make it all worth it. That’s the bottom line. It’s near and dear to my heart cause it’s a family in need.”
The tournament will launch out of Boopalus Bar Launch, 29669 La Hwy 22, Springfield, La 70462 on the Tickfaw River. The tournament, singles or team cost is $140 per boat with $20 going towards big bass. Payouts up to 6 places with 30 boats. Safe daylight until 3 pm with a 12” minimum length. Big bass will pay up to 2 spots. Search any water you can legally get to as there are no boundaries fishing for Hunter!
No truer words have been spoken than when Brandon told me, “This baby is innocent. He has no idea what’s going on and Louisiana Anglers are gonna make sure we can help him live a normal life.” Yes sir, we will help as much as we can. We will help because that’s what good people do and that’s what the bass fishing community in Louisiana does. Come be a part of making a difference! No better reason to Geaux Bassin. See you on March 6th!
Tournament flyer for the Fight Like Hunter Benefit Bass Tournament. Tournament is March 6th on the Tickfaw River.
Be sure to follow Hunter's story on Facebook at the link below:
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Baby Hunter is certainly a trophy catch for the Richardson family. Be sure to come out and support Hunter's Fight against LCH on March 6th.
Brandon Sanchez holding up a couple of nice fish. Looking forward to helping Brandon give back to the Richardsons in a big way!