Brewers honor breast cancer survivor

May 15th, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- Melisa Palacios spent Mother's Day in Racine, Wis., playing catch. A week later, she hoped her practice paid off at Miller Park.

"We did practice last Sunday," Palacios said with a laugh. "I hope I can do it."

Palacios, a breast cancer survivor, threw the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday's Brewers-Padres game as part of Major League Baseball's Honorary Bat Girl program, which was introduced in 2009 to raise awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated around the league on Mother's Day. In eight years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted, and more than 3 million fan votes have been cast to select "winners" representing each of the 30 clubs.

The Brewers were on the road for Mother's Day, so they recognized Palacios on Sunday. She was nominated for the honor by co-workers.

"It was pretty amazing that they would even think of nominating me," Palacios said. "I'm honored and feel very grateful.

"It's been amazing. I have a group sitting over there for me, about 48 people. It's nice to have the support of everybody."

Palacios first became involved in the fight when one of her husband's relatives was diagnosed, creating breast cancer awareness clothing to sell and donating the profits to the All Saints Cancer Center in Racine. In 2013, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in 2014, the disease struck Palacios herself. She recently started a support group, Pink Ladies Palace, where breast cancer fighters and survivors communicate and share their stories and experiences.

Palacios and other Honorary Bat Girl winners took part in pre-game activities and received pink MLB merchandise with two tickets to a game. Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress was on the panel of judges which selected the honorees from each club.