SAN FRANCISCO -- Wanda Zimmerman shares her May 6 birthday with Giants legend Willie Mays. But that's not her only distinctive quality.
Zimmerman, who was named Wednesday by Major League Baseball as the Giants' honorary bat girl for Sunday's Mother's Day game against Atlanta, survived breast cancer twice.
"I lost my hair," Zimmerman said in a statement, referring to the effects of her radiation and chemotherapy treatments, "but not my ability to fight this disease!"
Zimmerman was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2003. She underwent extensive treatments and passed the five-year remission mark. Shortly afterward, however, she discovered a lump in her reconstructed breast. Doctors concluded that it was a recurrence of her first bout with cancer. But they couldn't explain how the cancer returned in new tissue following a mastectomy.
Zimmerman said that none of the procedures she would endure -- and she experienced plenty -- would be as difficult as informing her two sons that she had cancer again. Zimmerman proceeded to undergo two lumpectomies. Then came a year of chemotherapy and 17 weeks of radiation.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less