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Red Sox honor brave survivor on Mother's Day

Cantara, from southern Maine, serves as Boston's Honorary Bat Girl

BOSTON -- There are benefits to being a hypochondriac. Had Sunday's Honorary Bat Girl, Christie Cantara, not been so worried, she may have never found out about her breast cancer.

After two doctor's visits in four months left her with no answers -- the lumps she was feeling were simply diagnosed as masses of tissue -- the third visit revealed something else.

"On Valentine's Day they told me it was cancerous," said Cantara, a 41-year-old mother of three from southern Maine. "The next day I had a lymph node checked, and that turned out to be cancerous."

She began chemotherapy two weeks later.

"Maybe for two days after I found out, I was a little wrecked, but after that I was like, 'Let's do it,'" she said. "I was just ready. I was like, 'I have things to do, we need to get this done.' And I've just been really positive, because I've had tons of support."

Cantara's oldest daughter, 19-year-old Kaylee, had support, too, in the form of best friend Lindsey Laverriere, who wrote a letter sharing Christie's story with just five days left in the voting process, which helped select one winner for each MLB team as an Honorary Bat Girl this Mother's Day.

Cantara's powerful story was chosen.

Cantara's three daughters -- Kaylee; Lacie, 9; and Mallorie, 5 -- joined her and Laverriere, along with other family members at Fenway Park on Sunday for a morning filled with interaction with Red Sox players. She was also honored before the game.

Her next chemotherapy session is scheduled for Monday.

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.
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