CINCINNATI -- Tina Amrhein's dream came true at the perfect time: on Mother's Day.Born and raised in Brookfield, Ind., and a life-long Reds fan, Amrhein was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She was chosen as the 2012 Honorary Bat Girl for the Reds. Wearing a pink bandana and a smile on her face, Amrhein could only think about her mother on Sunday. She was only 19 years old and had been married for two weeks when breast cancer claimed her mother, Diane. The loss was a tough one for the family, but Amrhein remembered her Mom's positive attitude and perseverance during the trying months of her illness. As she prepared to take the field at Great American Ball Park, she carried a photo of her mother.
"She had the same drive that I have," Amrhein said. "My mom, she would never let us see her hurt. She would always put on her face, and now, years later, I admire her for that. She was an amazing woman."When Amrhein's son returned from Afghanistan, she traveled with her husband Kevin to see him arrive on American soil. It was during that trip when she received the phone call that changed her life -- she was diagnosed with cancer. Married for 25 years, it didn't stop Tina, nor Kevin. They have been volunteering with the Special Olympics as coaches for years and she has regularly been involved with Relay for Life. Among their entourage of about 50 people on Sunday, the couple brought one of the kids from the Special Olympics, along with members of their family and friends. This spring, Amrhein had planned to help with a benefit for a man injured in a home invasion. Having had surgery just two weeks before, she was unable to physically help, but her presence was felt. She kept going in spite of the illness. A friend from church, Jeff Montag, wrote about Amrhein's story and submitted it for the Honorary Bat Girl contest. When she was selected, she was ecstatic. Kevin isn't surprised with his wife's decision to stay active in the community or the tough choice she made to have surgery followed by aggressive chemotherapy. "She's a trooper," Kevin Amrhein said. "She fights. She's got the attitude that, if she's going to do something, she's going to do it. There's nothing stopping her, and that's the attitude that she's had ever since I met her. She's always been that way, and I'm assuming she always will be." "I have the most wonderful family and friends," Tina said. "I have 50 people here today that came out in the rain just to watch me walk out on the field. Every single day I get phone calls. Ever since the beginning. People just rooting me on and just the history. Doing it for mom."
Lance Lysowski is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.