After years of trying to get pregnant, Melanie Vohs underwent IVF treatment and learned she would be having her first child at the age of 43. She delivered a beautiful baby girl named Morgan Olivia 14 weeks ago, with a chemo port in her chest. The following day, a CT scan showed the breast cancer she was diagnosed with during the pregnancy had not spread.
The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced league-wide in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In ten years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and hundreds of individuals have been honored.
In 2019, MLB Clubs each selected their respective Honorary Bat Girl based upon the honoree's personal connection to breast cancer; demonstration of commitment to the battle through education, awareness, fundraising or additional efforts and awareness; and demonstration of substantial local community impact.
We celebrate the spirit and efforts of the following 2019 honorees.
Honorary Bat Girls will be fundraising through a CrowdRise landing page. The highest fundraiser will earn World Series Game 4 tickets during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). Airfare & accommodations will be provided.
Christa was only 32, teaching theatre in a middle school and had just started dating a wonderful man when she was diagnosed.
Lesley Shworles' life turned upside down on October 27, 2008, but not because of cancer. Chris Shworles was a part-time fireman for Tinley Park and also worked full time at a mill work company. His wife, Lesley worked part-time in purchasing vendor management with plans to go back to school to become a chef.
Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. At the time, she had a five-month-old daughter and her biggest concern was not being there for her daughter.
My breast cancer diagnosis came as the result of a routine mammogram in February, 2017. I had experienced no symptoms. After ultrasound and MRI-guided biopsies, it was determined that I had invasive ductal carcinoma (DCIS) in one spot and a non-invasive carcinoma nearby.
I am alive today because of the breast health awareness promoted by community organizations such as Susan G. Komen.
Jane Broxterman, MD, an internal medicine physician at The University of Kansas Health System, cares for many breast cancer survivors and women living with metastatic cancer.
One truth about this beautiful life is that we are all different and we respond to life differently. For me, I prefer to see my time dealing with breast cancer as a journey, not a battle.
Monica first battled cancer at age 19, when she defeated Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Orisel - or more affectionally known as Ori - is a life-long Yankee fan and breast cancer survivor.
I have been fighting breast cancer for 19 years with my husband and two sons by my side every step of the way!
As a longtime healthcare employee, Dianne has always been an advocate for regular cancer screenings.
I am so honored to be chosen as the 2019 Rays' Honorary Bat Girl, on this Mother's Day.
At the end of January 2015, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It came as a complete shock, as NO ONE in my extended family had ever been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Warrant Officer LaLena Lynn Stary grew up in beautiful Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, in the small town of Kingston. She has two older sisters and two younger brothers (typical middle child). She was exposed indirectly to military life as she grew up and attended school with children of military families at 14 Wing Greenwood.
A native of Vermont and longtime enthusiastic sports fan, Kate is an esteemed attorney working with families and children in Phoenix. She is a mother to a caring and silly teenage boy with autism named Brady. He is the love of her life. Kate has been married to her husband Andy for 15 years.
Amanda Riggins is a 34-year-old mother of three. She has been married to her husband Don for 12 years and they live in Carrolton, GA. Amanda is a registered nurse at Tanner Medical Center.
In late summer 2018, Kristen Hall and her husband learned that they were pregnant with twins. While celebrating their 10 year anniversary at a Cubs game on September 27, 2018, Kristen received a phone call that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Laura Fay has battled her cancer the past several years with amazing courage. She is a positive role model for so many including others with cancer.
2018 was one of heartbreak and battle for me. Almost immediately the heartbreak began. On January 6, 2018, my 68-year-old mother passed away unexpectedly from a blood clot while at a friend's funeral.
At 29, Jessica Krouner was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She is happy to be cancer free after a year of intense treatment including six rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of daily radiation.
After receiving a Master's degree in neuroscience from the University of Connecticut, Dr. Reshma Mahtani went on to earn her medical degree from the University of New England.
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -- Maya Angelou
Jennifer was 30 and pregnant when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2017, at the age of 36.
Kelly Singer Marquis celebrated her last round of chemotherapy treatment in September, a month before her 40th birthday, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2018.
Merrilee Neal, a 35-year San Diego resident, was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and has dedicated every year since to making a difference for uninsured and underinsured women battling this disease in San Diego County.
Ellen is a wife, sister, aunt, daughter, friend and educator. She's a native of Detroit, who grew up loving Tigers baseball.
In February 2007, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
LaTishia Richadson, known as Tish around the ballpark, has been a TSA security officer at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. for three years - but a fixture at Nationals Park, where she has worked part-time, for seven years.