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    Jerrold - Early diagnosis proves crucial for community leader

    Jerrold -
    Jerrold - Early diagnosis proves crucial for community leader

    Jerrold Hatchett, 59, has been a fighter his whole life. He started in the Golden Gloves program as a child, but moved on to fight for both himself and others as a respected businessman and humanitarian. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he knew he was in for the fight of his life.

    Because Jerrold had annual checkups that included prostate cancer screening, his cancer was caught in its early stage. After trying some less invasive treatments, he had his prostate removed in 2007. Unfortunately, his cancer recurred several years later, but he was then introduced to the Sutter Solano Cancer Center, where he received care that exceeded his expectations from both a medical and psychological perspective.

    “I had a second surgery, but this time it was followed with radiation, and I also had access to a counselor who helped me through the mental side of dealing with cancer,” Jerrold said. “The care I received was just exceptional; I was shown a great deal of respect and treated like family.”

    Jerrold knows quite a bit about family, as he has eight children, ranging from 18 to 39, and six grandchildren, from two months old to 22. He’s also been part of the family at Simsmetal America since 1970, starting as a laborer and being promoted to foreman, supervisor and division manager before taking on his current responsibilities as public affairs director.

    Jerrold also has a third “family,” the Richmond community. He’s well known around the city for his giving spirit, and even received an award for his humanitarian acts in 2006, an honor he believes is unnecessary.

    “Everything I do is from the heart, because I really have love for my community,” he said. “I think it’s important to give back because you want to, not because you have to.”

    Jerrold may look familiar to the children of Richmond because he’s Santa Claus at the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony. The 6’4” 270-pound African American also plays the Easter Bunny at Richmond’s Easter egg hunts. His less whimsical community service has included efforts to stop gun violence, improve elementary education, clean up neighborhoods, find jobs for youth and provide recreational activities for seniors.

    Jerrold works with a variety of community groups, including the King Solomon Lodge, Santa Fe Neighborhood Council, Coronado Neighborhood Council, Richmond Rescue Mission, Council of Industries for Richmond, Richmond Mainstreet Program, Ed Fund, Nystrom Elementary School and Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Many people involved in those organizations participated in a prayer group during the time he was undergoing cancer treatment.


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