ATLANTA -- Braves fan Brenda Humphrey couldn't hold back her excitement as she was welcomed by the team as the official Honorary Bat Girl on Friday night. She was all smiles as she met with Braves personnel and watched practice on the field.
Humphrey is currently battling breast cancer. A native of Mableton, Ga., she has been diagnosed twice, in July 2014 and March 2016. However, she's in good spirits after helping her mother and three siblings deal with different forms of cancer over the years.
"My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and my sister is a breast cancer survivor," Humphrey said. "I had two other sisters, one who battled leukemia and one who battled pancreatic cancer. So cancer does run in my family, and one of the ways we get through it is to show support and love one another."
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Humphrey was given an all-access pass and had a special lunch with the Braves Wives club. She was also given a pink baseball bat that was signed by Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips, who served as a guest judge in the Honorary Bat Girl selection process and is an advocate of breast cancer awareness.
"For the Braves to do this is awesome, " said Humphrey. "Not only does it bring awareness, but it also gives me an opportunity to take my focus off everything else I have to deal with home-wise and have a day of fun. I get to hang out with family, friends and new friends, and it has been great."
The Braves started the Honorary Bat Girl program in 2009, and its initiative is to raise funds for breast-cancer research and awareness for the cause. Humphrey plans to help in those efforts. Her goal is to bring awareness and be a living testimony to others who are currently dealing with the disease.
Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.