Chicago Cubs honor nine-year-old girl with neuroblastoma

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A nine-year-old girl who has been battling a rare form of cancer for more than half her life played a special part in a recent Chicago Cubs game. Mya Tinajero, a patient at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., went to Wrigley Field with her parents on Sunday, April 17, where she served as the team’s Honorary Bat Kid.

As part of the honor, Mya met players and Cubs Manager Joe Maddon in the dugout before the team took on the Colorado Rockies. Mya was able to collect autographs on a baseball, snapped photos with players, met Clark the Cub and even ran the bases.

Advocate Health Care, in partnership with the Cubs, provides young patients like Mya the opportunity to be Honorary Bat Kids throughout the baseball season.

In 2011, Mya was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma at just four years old. After enduring aggressive treatment that included chemotherapy and surgery, Mya’s cancer went into remission for a short time before returning in 2014. She currently undergoes daily chemotherapy treatments in alternating two-week intervals.

Affecting only about 700 children in the United States each year, neuroblastoma forms in the nerve cells and typically only occurs in infants and young children.

Despite years of treatment and numerous ups and downs, Mya has maintained a cheerful attitude and is an inspiration to everyone around her.

“The strength and courage that Mya demonstrates on a daily basis is nothing short of inspirational,” says Dr. Jason Canner, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “I’m constantly amazed at how Mya and her family battle her aggressive cancer with grace and a positive attitude.”

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  1. What a beautiful girl you are. I will pray that nasty cancer goes away and NEVER comes back. I love kids, and I love you sweetheart.

  2. Evelyn Cogdell April 20, 2016 at 2:41 pm · Reply

    Hi, Mya: Sorry you have been diagnosed with this awful illness. I pray you and your family will continue to be able to deal with it until it eventually goes into remission forever. Meanwhile, I love your positive attitude which goes a long way toward helping you heal. And, I am very happy you were chosen by the Chicago Cubs as Bat Kid of the day, and were able to meet Cubs’ manager Joe Madden, get autographs, etc. Hang in there, kiddo!

About the Author

Julie Nakis
Julie Nakis

Julie Nakis, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. She earned her BA in communications from the University of Iowa – Go Hawkeyes! In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the city and cheering on the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks.