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Reds fans honored in battling breast cancer

CINCINNATI -- Mike Shroder and Patty Stump know how rare their stories are. That's why they take advantage of any opportunity to talk about their battles with breast cancer.

"We want to get the message out there," Stump said.

Shroder and Stump, of Mason, Ohio, a married couple who are both breast cancer survivors, were named Reds Honorary Bat Girls for Sunday's Mother's Day game against Colorado.

"We prefer, 'Bat Couple,'" Stump said with a chuckle.

Shroder received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2006. About a year later, Stump also battled breast cancer. After four cancer-free years, she received a cancer diagnosis once again in 2011. Treatment plans were successful for both, and both have recovered to the degree that they are able to work as volunteers and fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

"Our daughter signed us up for the Komen Walk the first year after my first diagnosis," Stump said. "Since then, we've done everything we can to help. We know that early detection plays such a big part, and we want others to be aware of that."

Only about 1 percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S. occur in men, according to the Komen Foundation. According to the American Cancer Society, about 430 men will die from breast cancer in 2014.

"The [men] I know take it pretty seriously," Shroder said.

Both are big Reds fans. Shroder said he was a former season-ticket holder. The television sets at West Shore Pizza, their business in Mason, are always tuned to the Reds when the games are on, they said.

Shroder and Stump were nominated by 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Josie Shuler for the program Major League Baseball has sponsored since 2009.

"Word spread among our family and friends and via social media," Stump said. "We were really happy people voted for us. Being here [Great American Ball Park] is very exciting."

Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative sponsored by charitable partners Stand Up to Cancer and the Susan B. Komen Foundation.

Andy Call is a contributor to
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