Toronto's honorary bat girl battles cancer, helps others

TORONTO -- Michelle Riccio is the winner of the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Blue Jays. The contest recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease.

Riccio was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer on Feb. 27, 2014, and found out it had spread to her spine just a few weeks later. Riccio jumped right into the world of chemotherapy, blood transfusions, hair loss and constant anxiety.

MBC is considered incurable and has since spread to her liver. Throughout everything she is facing, Michelle continues to be an amazing and loving mother to her 4‐year-old son, Taylor, and wife to her husband, Mike.

Riccio blogs and is active on social media to keep family and friends up to date with her experiences, and she is a strong advocate for others with MBC. She also has volunteered with Stand Up To Cancer and Rethink Breast Cancer to help support other women with MBC.

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. 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. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause while raising funds to support breast cancer research.

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Blue Jays on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.