Breast cancer survivors get chance of a lifetime at Wrigley Field

Breast cancer survivors get chance of a lifetime at Wrigley Field

During the first Chicago Cubs home game after Mother’s Day – and the first game the new bleachers are open for the 2015 season – the Friendly Confines will be awash in pink to honor breast cancer patients, survivors and their families when the Cubs face the New York Mets tonight.

And, some of those patients will get the chance of a lifetime as they participate in a number of on-the-field activities.

Mary Ellen Stanley might be one of the biggest Cubs fans ever.

Her love of the Cubs began as a 9-year-old girl and has never stopped. Stanley owns Cubs shoes, watches almost every game and keeps score, and routinely makes trips to spring training.

One spring training trip was especially meaningful to a friend of Stanley’s who had leukemia. She was determined to bring home a baseball autographed by Cubs legend Ron Santo, so she climbed onto a bench just below the broadcasting booth and balanced precariously as she reached up with the ball so the former baseball great could sign it. The gesture meant so much to her friend that his family placed the ball on his casket when he died.

The Orland Park woman is also a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2003. Her cancer was detected in the very early stages, and she’s now cancer free.

Now, she’ll have the opportunity to toss out the ceremonial first pitch.

“Take me out to the ball game”

Ronnie O’Donnell, Tina Conrad and Sandy Clausen have shared a unique bond that is unlike any other.

They’re friendship, strength and constant support has helped them when they were all undergoing a double mastectomy.

The women, along with Robin Raymond, created the Theta Theta Girls in 2014, a community for women to support each other, especially those who have had a double mastectomy. The founding members created t-shirts for the sorority based on the Greek letter for Theta.

Placing the two Theta symbols together looked exactly like what a woman’s breasts looks like after a double mastectomy, O’Donnell says.

The women will be singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning of Monday’s game.

“For those of us who have had the double [mastectomy], we have taken our breast cancer diagnosis as far as it can go,” O’Donnell says. “We could have chosen easier paths, but we did it to live longer, have fewer issues, and to know that we would survive.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.