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Honorary Bat Girl throws Mother's Day 1st pitch

Breast cancer survivor Carla Cammack raises awareness for importance of early detection
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Carla Cammack has been dedicated to raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer since her diagnosis 20 years ago. That activism hit too close seven years ago when she flew cross-country to be at the bedside of her dying best friend.

On Mother's Day Sunday at Dodger Stadium, Cammack will be the Dodgers' Honorary Bat Girl for MLB's "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative, as selected by the club.

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LOS ANGELES -- Carla Cammack has been dedicated to raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer since her diagnosis 20 years ago. That activism hit too close seven years ago when she flew cross-country to be at the bedside of her dying best friend.

On Mother's Day Sunday at Dodger Stadium, Cammack will be the Dodgers' Honorary Bat Girl for MLB's "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative, as selected by the club.

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Cammack survived after a routine mammogram in 1997 detected a lump that turned out to be Stage 3 breast cancer. Her treatment included two surgeries a week apart, nine months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.

Ever since, Cammack has been an active volunteer, fundraiser, speaker and mentor of newly diagnosed patients. As the Honorary Bat Girl, Cammack threw out the first pitch for Sunday's homestand finale and received a personalized pink bat.

Honorary Bat Girls for 2018

Louisville Slugger will donate proceeds from the sale of game-used pink bats, which will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer. MLB will again donate its licensed uniform royalties through Mother's Day apparel to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer.

Even though Cammack is the daughter of a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, she's not that into baseball. Sure, she said, she's excited about the VIP treatment she'll get, but more than that, she'll use Sunday as another opportunity to spread the word. Every time she does, she said, she thinks of her best friend.

"I'm so grateful to the Dodgers and Major League Baseball because it's hugely important they do this," said Cammack.

"Early detection is the key and people need to be reminded of this year-round, not just during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's proven over and over. We now have a 98 percent survival rate if the diagnosis is in the early stage, because that's when it's easiest to treat. Because of that, the largest number of cancer survivors are breast cancer survivors.

"When people see the pink bats and the messages flashing, we hope it reminds them to make an appointment for a mammogram. It all helps to spread the message."

• Shop Dodgers Mother's Day gear

Pink bats have become identified with MLB's support of breast cancer awareness. These Dodgers will use them on Sunday: Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Kyle Farmer, Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Chase Utley.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers