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Larry Hogan visits Ravens to raise awareness about cancer

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, left, gives a "blessing" to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, right, for a Ravens win against the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, left, gives a "blessing" to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, right, for a Ravens win against the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

The Baltimore Ravens home opener Sunday served as the latest backdrop for Gov. Larry Hogan's work to draw attention to cancer.

Hogan, who has non-HodgkinsHodgkins lymphoma, took the field during the first quarter with four children diagnosed with cancer and who, like Hogan, receive treatment at the University of Maryland Medical System.

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Hogan has curtailed much of his public appearances since his cancer diagnosis in June, but routinely appears at childhood cancer awareness events.

He took a group of pediatric cancer patients to an Orioles game and to a Redskins game earlier this month.

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"We really need to bring awareness so people go get checked out," Hogan said. Hogan was diagnosed after a lump he noticed while shaving turned out to be a cancer tumor.

Since then, he underwent three surgeries and five of the six rounds of chemotherapy in his treatment plan.

Before a roaring crowd on Sunday, the governor pumped his fist and waved his hands in the air, just as he had coached the children to do.

"So, it's pretty cool out there on the field," Hogan told them as they waited for their moment. "You don't have to be nervous, but you do have to keep waving. It's only 35 seconds, but it feels much longer."

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Before the game, Hogan glad-handed and posed for photos on the sideline with fans, game officials and Ravens staffers.

Hogan said that when he chatted with coach John HarbaughHarbaugh, he put his hand on the coach's head and passed along the blessing he received from Pope Francis on Wednesday.

"It lasts all week!" Hogan said of the pontiff's blessing. "This way they'll win."

It wasn't enough. Despite the Raven's fourth-quarter surge, the Cincinnati Bengals won 28-24.

The governor hosted the children and many people involved in treating his cancer to watch the game in the state's private skyboxskybox. Hogan took office in January, and Sunday marked the first time him used the state's suite.

The children had waited there before the game while Hogan shook hands on the field. They told him he shouldn't delay visiting it on account of the tasty jumbo shrimp being served inside.

"Wait, it's filled with shrimp?" Hogan, a fiscal conservative, said in mock horror. "I told them to fill it with hot dogs. We can't afford shrimp."

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