Braves backup catcher J.C. Boscan was already getting emotional just listening to 10-year-old cancer patient Lily Anderson sing the national anthem at Turner Field on Thursday night. And that was before he realized who she was.
He was standing near her mother and happened to notice she was wearing the same neon green wristband he wears on his right arm. Taking a closer look, he could make out the word “Anderson” on it, just like his.
“I’m like ‘Oh my God,’” Boscan said.
Boscan had met Lily Anderson of Cumming last season in Triple-A Gwinnett when she was invited to the dugout for autographs. Anderson, who suffers from Neuroblastoma, had given him her bracelet in return that said: “Anderson Power, pray for Lily.” He had not taken it off since.
Boscan hadn’t recognized her a year older, with a flowered bandana on her head.
Boscan waited out the extended ovation from the crowd, her emotional embrace with her mother and her conversation with Brian McCann, who is a spokesman for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research.
Shortly thereafter, Boscan told McCann about the connection and McCann took him to Anderson to show her Boscan was still wearing her bracelet.
“Mac told her, ‘Do you remember this?’ and she got so excited,” Boscan said. “Her mom started crying again. It was emotional.”
Boscan said he wears the bracelet day and night to remind him of those undergoing hardships.
“There are things outside of baseball,” said Boscan, who hopes to keep in touch with Anderson now. “Sometimes we need to think of those people and have them in our prayers, especially little girls or little boys like that who are suffering from a disease. I think it’s the right thing to do.”