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Lustig honored to serve as Nats' honorary bat girl

First-year season-ticket holder battling breast cancer
MLB.com @ladsonbill24

WASHINGTON -- Tracy Lustig was the Nationals' honorary bat girl on Sunday. She threw the first pitch to left-hander Matt Grace before the Nationals faced the Braves.

Major League Baseball recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.

Full Game Coverage

WASHINGTON -- Tracy Lustig was the Nationals' honorary bat girl on Sunday. She threw the first pitch to left-hander Matt Grace before the Nationals faced the Braves.

Major League Baseball recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.

Full Game Coverage

How happy was Lustig to be the bat girl for the Nationals? She was extremely honored.

"I was sitting here at Nationals Park when Major League Baseball called me and told me that I was the bat girl," Lustig said. "My husband was ecstatic, I was ecstatic. The entire section -- 308 -- was ecstatic. We are first-year season-ticket holders. It was a huge honor to represent the Nationals and all the women who are going through what I'm going through."

:: Mother's Day 2015 ::

Lustig, who is from Alexandria, Va., is a breast cancer survivor. After being diagnosed with an aggressive case of Stage 3 breast cancer in 2013, she set out to overcome the disease. Despite her struggles, she often attends Nationals games.

"When I was diagnosed, I said, 'I can go through this and be miserable and cry every day.' I'm not saying I didn't cry, because I sure did," Lustig said. "But the year-and-a-half of treatment was going to happen. I was either going to go through it miserably or I was going to go through it positively and happy like I am and be myself. It's something that is happening in my life, but was only a part of my life."

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In seven years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 2 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

 

Washington Nationals