Cancer survivor honourary Blue Jays bat girl

Ottawa native Bergwerff throws first pitch before Mother's Day matinee

Cancer survivor honourary Blue Jays bat girl

TORONTO -- Ottawa native Stacie Bergwerff threw the ceremonial first pitch and was named an honorary bat girl for Sunday's special Mother's Day matinee affair between the Blue Jays and Red Sox at Rogers Centre.

Bergwerff was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer two years ago, and while the news was devastating to her family, the main concern at the time was how to remain a good mother to her 9-year-old son.

Baseball proved to be one way for the family to enjoy their time together. Whether it was watching Blue Jays broadcasts or going to the park for a game of catch, it served as an escape and a way to continue enjoying a lot of quality time.

Blue Jays' Mother's Day gear

When Bergwerff was recovering from her medical procedures a year ago, she vowed to see the Blue Jays play in Spring Training. This year, she submitted her nomination for Major League Baseball's honorary bat girl contest from the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla.

The honorary bat girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. During the past seven years, testimonials have been submitted and more than two million fans have submitted their votes for eligible candidates.

Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up to Cancer and Susan G. Komen. The initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.