Crew honors breast cancer survivor McClellan

Honorary Bat Girl presented pink bat, throws out first pitch

Crew honors breast cancer survivor McClellan

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers kicked off their series finale with the Mets on Mother's Day by honoring longtime fan and mother Jacki McClellan, a survivor of Stage 3 breast cancer.

McClellan threw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday as a part of Major League Baseball's Honorary Bat Girl program.

"My husband and I have been Brewers fans forever. We have rooms dedicated to our Brewers, so this is just phenomenal," McClellan said. "We can't thank the Major League and Brewers organization enough. It's just incredible. We're very appreciative, and we're very happy to be here."

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McClellan was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in November 2010. The cancer spread to the lymph nodes in her right arm and required multiple surgeries, two rounds of chemotherapy, 30 days of radiation and physical therapy. McClellan lost all of her hair twice and had to overcome several infections, but watched Brewers games as a form of relief.

"Through the grace of God and the overwhelming support of my family, I got through this," McClellan said. "It's a tough struggle. I would like to encourage any woman out there: Don't give up. Keep the faith. Keep praying. Keep fighting. You can beat this."

Jacki McClellan threw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday. (Brewers)

McClellan was selected as the Honorary Bat Girl not just for her own battle with cancer, but for her endless support during her daughter's battle with melanoma skin cancer in 2015. Her daughter received the diagnosis while she was 35 weeks pregnant with her first child. McClellan never left her daughter's side through multiple surgeries and served as an inspiration through her fight.

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"She had noticed a mole. She went and had that checked out. They found out that it was cancerous," McClellan said. "My daughter was incredibly brave through all this. She was more terrified for the health of her baby than she was her own health. But again, through faith and God and support of family, she did a fabulous job and she's cancer-free."

Major League Baseball's 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. In eight years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 200 individuals have been honored.

Carson Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.