Cleveland - Major League Baseball has announced the 2018 Honorary Bat Girls for each MLB Club in support of the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease. Winners have been selected to represent each of the 30 clubs and will be recognized on-field at Major League ballparks on Sunday, May 13.
For the first time since the Honorary Bat Girl program’s inception, Clubs had the opportunity to hand select their respective honorees, each of whom have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to battling breast cancer.
Jennifer Buckland of Willoughby was selected as the Indians Honorary Bat Girl and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Sunday’s game. A physical therapist at Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer after receiving her first-ever mammogram at age 40.
Jennifer underwent a mastectomy with immediate DIEP tissue reconstruction, followed by a 12-week regimen of chemotherapy. She was selected to participate in a research study that provided early-stage breast cancer patients with the opportunity to wear a cooling cap during chemo treatment to prevent hair loss.
By participating in the cooling cap research study, Jennifer opened up the possibility for other cancer survivors to prevent hair loss. The results of this research have been published, and the cooling cap is now recognized as an FDA-approved device.
Jennifer has also provided support to other breast cancer survivors who may be interested in preventing hair loss. Now, she is proudly living life cancer-free with a full head of hair and is training for the upcoming Cleveland Half-Marathon.
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.
Since 2006, players have swung pink bats, worn pink ribbon decals and sported pink wristbands through the “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, which is intended to raise awareness and, through donations and auction proceeds, funds to fight breast cancer. MLB will again donate its licensed uniform royalties through Mother’s Day apparel to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up to Cancer.
For more information, please visit www.mlb.com/mlb-community/2018-honorary-bat-girls.