CHICAGO -- When Sherri Waldvogel first was given a breast cancer diagnosis, the native of Essex, Ill., had a two-word reaction.
"Freaked out," Waldvogel said. "I was 39 at the time and that wasn't supposed to happen to people my age.
"My girls were nine at the time, so you are going to worry about whether you see them graduate or get married, all that stuff. That's when I found the whole online community with YSC, finding out it does and can happen to younger people."
YSC represents Young Survival Coalition, a cancer support organization with which Waldvogel served as one of the co-founders of the Chicago affiliate. She also has been part of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, which has a goal of putting an end to breast cancer by the year 2020.
This exceptional volunteer work put in by Waldvogel made her the White Sox winner of the Honorary Bat Girl, with one honoree coming for each of the 30 Major League clubs, recognizing baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. Waldvogel participated in on-field activities prior to the White Sox game with the Angels on Mother's Day, including bringing the lineup card to home plate, and will receive pink MLB merchandise.
She was nominated by her friend, Tasha Huebner, and took in the game with her husband, John, and twin daughters, Jenna and Haley.
"This is going to be a wonderful night," Waldvogel said. "I've been so looking forward to this all week since I was notified. To celebrate with my daughters and husband, just to get to come here and watch a game. It may be a little chilly, but I'm excited."
Waldvogel said the cancer support groups are important to patients because as much as your family is wonderful and there to help in any way, they've never experienced it. Waldvogel has been in remission since 2006 and has learned to appreciate everything in life a little more by winning this battle.
"I realize that things don't last forever and anybody can go at any time," Waldvogel said. "We really need to take advantage of each and every day.
"We want researchers to think outside of the box, not go with the same old status quo," added Waldvogel of trying to end breast cancer by 2020. "You never know when one of those odd ideas might be the actual end of everything."