Willoughby cancer survivor named Cleveland Indians honorary bat girl

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - One Willoughby woman had the best Mother's Day of her life after what seemed like years of pain.

Cancer survivor Jennifer Buckland had the once in a lifetime opportunity to throw the first pitch for the Cleveland Indians.

"It's not a strike, but I tried," said Jennifer Buckland as she finished throwing her first pitch before the game.

It only lasted a few seconds but it took years for Willoughby native, Jennifer Buckland to get here to the middle of the diamond.

"I'm happy to represent the group that it's not so pleasant to be in," said Buckland.

Buckland is a three-year cancer survivor.

She spent Saturday, May 12 with the Cleveland Indians, being recognized as the honorary bat girl.

"Looking back on three years ago, I'm a different person, better than before," said Buckland.

But it hasn't been just Jennifer on this journey. Her husband Eric and their two children have been there every step of the way.

"She's a fighter. She's gone through it all. I couldn't have been proud of her," said Jennifer's Husband, Eric Buckland.

Jennifer says her throwing that ceremonial first pitch wasn't just her throwing a baseball, but it represented something much more in her life.

"Taking the kids to the bus stop and tucking them in at night, preparing lunches everyday, those moments are just the ones that you want back when you're sick and unable to what you want to do," said Jennifer.

She says now her life can go on, just like it did once before.

"At first it was a shock, wondering how it could be her, how it could be us as a family and what's the impact gonna be. Now we're just looking forward and it's all just a distant memory at this point," said Eric.

Hopefully the Buckland Family will be able to make more memories, as they spend the day at progressive field.

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