Hi, it's Sheila.
Once again this year our Cincinnati Reds plan to recognize the fight against breast cancer and Susan G. Komen For The Cure on Mother's Day. You can help the team select an honorary bat girl or boy. Right now, the Reds are accepting inspiring stories from people who've survived breast cancer or whose lives have been touched by the disease, and fans can vote.
Several nominees are vying for the Cincinnati bat girl spot, including the Cincinnati native who formed the Pink Ribbon Girls breast cancer support group, Tracie Metzger.
Tracie was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 30 years old.
She says in her entry: "At the time I had 2 children under the age of 3 and felt like I had to be the only young woman dealing with this. I felt scared, alone and like no one else could relate to all of the things I was feeling and thinking. Luckily for me, I caught my breast cancer early and my prognosis was very good. I went through 6 months of intense chemotherapy, lost all my hair and had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. During that time I longed to connect with other young survivors who were going through all of the things I was."
But at that time, no group offered specific support for younger women battling breast cancer, so Tracie and two other young survivors founded the Pink Ribbon Girls. She says, "Pink Ribbon Girls offers young women support during and after their treatments, an outlet to express fears and concerns and an opportunity to find strength through shared experiences."
I mention Tracie because I know her and have been inspired by her myself, but the Major League Baseball website also has entries from Louise, who lost her husband to breast cancer, along with a young woman who is inspired by her mother, and other local breast cancer survivors. Reading their touching stories only takes a few minutes, and you can make one of their dreams come true by voting to help them take the field with the Reds in May.
Here's the website where you can vote: www.mlb.com/honorarybatgirl
(You can look for your favorite team in the drop down box.)
And if you want to learn more about the Tracie's Pink Ribbon Girls, log onto http://www.pinkribbongirls.org/