Nats to honor cancer survivor Irwin on Saturday

Nats to honor cancer survivor Irwin on Saturday

CHICAGO -- When treatment left Corinne Irwin too weak to do much else, she was happy to at least be able to watch the Nationals. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and endured five surgeries, 18 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.

Irwin went through her treatment at the same time the Nationals were making a run at their first National League East championship, which helped her form a connection to the team. Irwin has now been cancer-free for four years and is the Nationals winner of the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans affected by breast cancer who have shown a commitment to fighting against the disease.

Washington was wrapping up a four-game series at Wrigley Field Sunday afternoon, so the club plans to honor Irwin during Saturday's doubleheader against the Marlins at Nationals Park. Irwin will take part in pregame activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony, receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game.

She tries to manage the long-term side effects of the disease by eating healthy, limiting alcohol intake, exercising and managing stress.

Irwin created a blog (http://irwinsothebay.net/) during her treatment to keep family, friends and other cancer patients informed how she was doing physically, emotionally and spiritually. She also provides one-on-one support for women battling breast cancer, and she hopes the blog will give other people with the disease an idea what's in store for them.

Authentic game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats and other gear from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively at MLB.com, with proceeds benefiting the fight against breast cancer. The complete Mother's Day collection -- which includes the special caps and jerseys being worn by players on Sunday -- is available at the MLB.com Shop.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.