CLEVELAND -- With the Royals celebrating Mother's Day on the road for their finale with the Indians, they will honor their 2018 Honorary Bat Girl, Mila Ellsworth, a day later.Ellsworth was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015 at the age of 36 and underwent chemotherapy and surgery to combat
CLEVELAND -- With the Royals celebrating Mother's Day on the road for their finale with the Indians, they will honor their 2018 Honorary Bat Girl, Mila Ellsworth, a day later.
Ellsworth was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015 at the age of 36 and underwent chemotherapy and surgery to combat a BRCA 1 mutation. She will be honored during pregame ceremonies prior to the Royals' Monday night matchup against Tampa Bay. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CT.
Ellsworth lives in Olathe, Kan., with her husband and three children, and has since undergone a lymph bypass surgery due to lymphedema. She held a fundraiser at the University of Kansas Cancer Center to help support breast cancer research, and she still continues to coach softball.
"The Royals are thrilled to join Major League Baseball to honor breast cancer advocates from across the country," Royals vice president of community relations Ben Aken said in a press release. "Mila is an inspiration to many in our community, both on and off the softball field, and we look forward to welcoming her and her family to Kauffman Stadium."
• Buy Royals Mother's Day gear
The Royals wore newly designed caps highlighted by a pink crown and blue brim on Mother's Day. The team also donned a pink ribbon on the left side of its uniforms, as well as other assorted pink equipment. Players also had the opportunity to use pink bats stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Proceeds from all gear sold will go to to Susan G. Komen as well as Stand Up to Cancer.
Royals catcher Andrew Butera, in his eighth Mother's Day in the big leagues, understands the importance of celebrating this day and what it means to those affected by cancer.
"I'm thinking of all women who have been affected by breast cancer when I use a pink bat," Butera said. "That's the reason why we as a group wear pink, to support breast cancer and breast cancer survivors. It's for all women who have had breast cancer, or are battling breast cancer."
The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise awareness for MLB's annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative, which raises awareness for the breast cancer cause.
** Henry Palattella ** is a contributor to MLB.com and is based in Cleveland.