05/13/12 4:21 PM ET
Cammarano honored to be White Sox bat girl
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"Two of my kids are old enough to be in college and they are coming down from Milwaukee," Cammarano said.
Having her entire family together on Mother's Day was an exciting feeling for the Aurora, Ill., native. Getting to serve as the White Sox 2012 Honorary Bat Girl for her commitment to 'Going to Bat' to fight against breast cancer truly made her day.
Cammarano, 43, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2008 and completed her treatment one year later. She will be celebrating her fourth year of remission this August and was selected to Sunday's honor through fan votes cast online and by a guest judging panel that includes MLB Players and celebrities.
"This is the most exciting part of my Mother's Day," said a smiling Cammarano, as her husband snapped photos and videotaped her on-field opportunity. "It's exciting being a mom, but I'm going to be on the field for the White Sox game.
"It humbles me to think that a club as large as the White Sox are involved, and obviously I can tell from the players, they really genuinely care. I had one of the players share with me that his grandmother is a cancer survivor and how that has affected him, and how he thinks about his wife and has a two-year old son.
"All of it is so totally on their radar not even two hours before they are going out on the field," Cammarano said. "That to me is an incredible thing."
White Sox players such as Chris Sale, Gavin Floyd and Alex Rios were just a few of the many who greeted Cammarano and then took pictures and signed autographs for her and her family. Cammarano was nominated for this honor by her friend, Tasha, who also is a breast cancer survivor, as is her friend, Adrienne, with both of them accompanying her Sunday.
Part of Cammarano's work since diagnosis has been with the Young Survival Coalition, designed for women under 45. She has participated in different Komen and Avon walks, but her primary contribution has been in her own community, where Cammarano organizes support groups.
Once per week, these groups get together for dinner and help the newly diagnosed women. Cammarano also works with Immerman's Angels, and mentored three women going through similar diagnoses just this last month.
There was no family history of breast cancer for Cammarano, and her doctor labeled her as the least likely person he would have ever imagined to be diagnosed with such a disease. She actually found her own lump, but it wasn't until her mother dragged her to the doctor three weeks later that she was examined.
"I was like, 'I'm not old enough to have this,'" Cammarano said. "I like to tell people breast cancer, it's not your grandma's disease anymore. The doctors aren't even catching up with it now. It's a newer thing in our generation. I couldn't have been more shocked. My doctors couldn't have been more shocked either."
Four years later, Cammarano is healthy, happy and celebrating with the White Sox.
"I'm really happy, and I like to tell people that I don't ever consider cancer a gift because I would never give it to anyone," Cammarano said. "However, I can say that I have gotten a lot out of it. It expanded my horizons.
"I've learned to live more fully and appreciate that what I sometimes think of as a bad day is not a bad day in the scheme of cancer. It really has changed me as a person in a good way."