Leslie Gordon part of Mother's Day at The K
Dr. Jane Broxterman selected to rep Royals as Honorary Bat Girl
HOUSTON -- Royals outfielder Alex Gordon was a freshman at the University of Nebraska in 2003 when his mother, Leslie, called him to give him some surprising news.
She had just undergone a lumpectomy after being diagnosed with a very early stage of breast cancer. Leslie withheld this information from her kids -- Alex and his three brothers -- until the surgery was over, in an attempt to avoid interrupting their lives.
“She called me and said, ‘I just had the surgery, I’m fine,’” Gordon recalled. “I kind of flipped out on her. I said, ‘Wait, you didn’t tell me about this beforehand?’”
Gordon, whose dorm wasn’t far from the hospital, rushed over that night to see Leslie and spent the night in the room with her.
“It was just typical of her, not wanting to bother us, not wanting to stress us out about it,” Gordon said.
More than a decade and a half later, Gordon can chuckle at the memory, mainly because the story has a happy ending. Leslie was declared cancer-free soon after the procedure and she has been healthy ever since.
“You think about what might have happened, if she didn’t catch it early enough,” Gordon said. “I’m just grateful that she’s still here and still part of my life.”
Leslie will be at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday to meet with other breast cancer survivors as part of a Mother’s Day celebration that coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Day. She has been a regular presence at many Mother’s Day celebrations at The K in the past, making those particular gamedays a little bit more special for Gordon.
“I’m thankful every year that she is here, but especially on Mother’s Day,” he said. “It makes it extra special. Everything she’s done for me and my other three brothers, and my whole family, words can’t explain how selfless she is. I’m very grateful that it turned out the way it did.”
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced its full slate of Mother’s Day activities, including the list of the 2019 Honorary Bat Girls who were named for each club, in support of the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative.
Representing the Royals will be Dr. Jane Broxterman, from Basehor, Kan.
An internal medicine physician at The University of Kansas Health System, Dr. Broxterman cares for many breast cancer survivors and women living with metastatic cancer. In May of 2018, the mother of four was diagnosed with early-stage, triple-negative breast cancer, a rare and aggressive cancer that is challenging to treat.
In addition to that complicated diagnosis, she has rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease which can complicate breast cancer treatment. Under the guidance of her care team at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Dr. Broxterman had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and returned to her full-time medical practice in March.
The Royals will honor Dr. Broxterman and other survivors on the field during a special pregame ceremony on Sunday. Additionally, the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat, first pitch and national anthem singer will honor breast cancer survivors.