Bat Girl Rising
I never win anything. So when my husband announced that he was entering me into a contest to be the honorary batgirl to the New York Mets, I knew it would never happen. On May 3, I got a call from Gabrielle Raymond from the MLB alerting me that I had, in fact, been selected to represent the Mets as the honorary bat girl for the 2012 Major League Baseball Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.
Every Mothers Day, Major League Baseball in partnership with the Komen Foundation for the Cure, selects an honorary batgirl to represent every MLB team. Teams around the league promote breast cancer awareness and early detection through various activities and media. For more information, please visit: http://mlb.mlb.com/honorarybatgirl/2012/index.jsp
I was extremely humbled and moved to be trusted to represent the breast cancer community and try to do my part to raise awareness and support my triple negative breast cancer sisters battling this horrible disease. In addition to being honored at the May 14, 2012 Mets versus Milwaukee Brewers game (I got to tour the club house and dug out and walk on the field!), I had the privilege to promote triple negative breast cancer on CBS News This morning. You can check out my appearance here:
Here I am on the field receiving my certificate. L to R: Tommy Kouten, John Kouten, Cassie Kouten, Mike Kouten, Mike Baxter, Sara Kouten
Yes, we were given a tour of the Mets clubhouse and team captain, David Wright came out to say hello and lend his support to our cause. L to R: John Kouten, Cassie Kouten, David Wright, Sara Kouten, Mike Kouten, Tommy Kouten
I would like to thank the New York Mets, Major League Baseball, The Komen Foundation for the Cure, my supportive family and my sisters at the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation for its support in our fight against breast cancer.
My winning submission
Sara – loving mother, daughter, spouse, and die-hard Met’s fan. At 40, on 6/24/08, she was diagnosed with aggressive triple negative breast cancer. She also discovered that she was positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. After three 2nd opinions, she made the decision to have her breasts and ovaries removed. She had multiple tests, surgeries and treatments. Today, despite discomfort and pain, Sara is considered cancer free and focused on paying-it-forward. Regardless of financial challenges we take time especially around Mother’s Day, to catch a Met’s game as a family. Sara is proud of her heritage as a Met’s fan and identifies with the “underdog,” and of course she loves David Wright and Daniel Murphy! Sara works hard every day raising 3 teens, is a proud member of the Machestic Dragons dragon boat team and works full time. Sara also gives freely of her time to multiple BC charities, including the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation.
Separated from her feminine identity (breasts, uterus and ovaries), Sara struggles to find a new normal. Menopausal at 40, reduced energy levels, and significant loss of bone mineral density would give anyone great excuses to give up. Not our Sara. I can say without reservation that Sara would make an excellent honorary bat girl! But be careful –if she’s allowed in the dugout she might start giving Terry Collins advice. In the future Sara hopes to work in hospice or patient navigation. Sara is grateful for the support she received and desires that no one should go through it alone.