NEW YORK -- Nancy Haunty, a Shoreline, Wash., woman who has been fighting cancer for nearly 10 years, has been named the Mariners' 2012 Honorary Bat Girl as part of Major League Baseball's annual Mother's Day program.
Each Major League team selects an Honorary Bat Girl to raise awareness for MLB's Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative. Because the Mariners are on the road this Sunday on Mother's Day, Haunty will be honored when the team returns to Safeco Field for its next home game on Monday, May 21.
Haunty was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. After successful surgery and treatment, the disease went into remission until '07. When the cancer returned, she underwent six months of chemotherapy, two mastectomies and reconstructive surgery.
After two cancer-free years, she learned in '09 that she had Stage Four cancer that had spread to her liver, lungs and spine. Though not in full remission, Haunty says she was responding well to treatment until discovering the cancer had spread to her brain earlier this year.
Two weeks ago, Haunty had surgery at Swedish Medical Center's Cherry Hill campus in Seattle. She says the procedure went smoothly and she will have a scan in a few weeks to see how the tumor is responding to the treatment.
In spite of the many surgeries, treatments and recurrences of cancer, Haunty has maintained a positive attitude with the love and support of her husband, Jake, family and friends.
"Anyone who gets hit by a fastball, you think you can't handle another setback, but you do, and you go on to the next challenge," she said.
Haunty continues working full-time and also volunteers with local organizations that help breast-cancer survivors with financial assistance, caring baskets and group physical activities. She traveled to Washington, D.C., last year to testify to the FDA in favor of a drug that was effective in her treatment program.
Haunty will participate in a pregame ceremony on May 21, decked out in her personalized pink Mariners jersey. She'll be joined by her husband, friend Kelly West, who nominated her for the honor, and her in-laws, who are flying in from Ohio for the event.