‘This is my why’: Padres’ Honorary Bat Girl shares her cancer journey


SAN DIEGO – The Padres this year named Kellie Sullivan as the team’s Honorary Bat Girl, showcasing her battle against breast cancer. She even got to throw out the first pitch at Monday’s game.

Seeing how happy and strong she looked made it hard to believe Sullivan was fighting breast cancer just a year ago.

“On January of 2020, I received a phone call with the news that I had invasive ductal carcinoma,” Sullivan said.

A native of the East Coast, Sullivan was an advocate for Padres Pedal the Cause in 2018 and 2019, an annual cancer research fundraising event. A few months before her diagnosis, Sullivan asked the universe for a sign as to why she was participating.

“I remember getting off the phone and talking to my wife – I remember exactly where I was – and telling her, I actually said out loud, ‘Remember when I asked the universe for my why?,” she said. “This is my why.”

Through her battle with cancer, Sullivan decided to do even more with Pedal the Cause.

As she wrapped up her final days of chemotherapy, the fitness guru and personal trainer decided to lead a World Without Cancer Day virtual spin class from Petco Park. 

“A celebration, a way to get back. I needed some purpose,” she said. “My third bout of chemotherapy, I wanted to quit. It was with a drug called the Red Devil AC and I so desperately wanted to quit, so I came up with this idea as a way of giving back while giving myself a little bit more purpose behind wanting to push through and stay strong.”

Since then, Sullivan’s worked as a contractor with Pedal the Cause, hoping to raise more awareness for cancer.

“There’s always going to be someone out there who’s experiencing something similar that needs to hear that they are strong, they are capable and they can fight the fight and that’s what I wanted to convey throughout my entire treatment journey,” Sullivan explained.

The Padres also are donating $5,000 in Sullivan’s name to the Padres Pedal the Cause.

To find out how to participate, visit gopedal.org.

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