My Best Memory of the 2010 Rays "The Spirit of Soriano & Breast Cancer"

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As I started to write this yesterday, it really made me think. What was THE best moment of  the 2010 Rays for me? The more I thought about it, it was a no brainier. There was a bunch of memorable times. 2010 was a good season! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of great people this year. Donna Welch-Sweikow, is a die hard fan and an amazing human being. This year she’s my hero!

Talking to Donna about her best memory of 2010, I realized how lucky I am. How lucky we all are!

Donna Welch-Sweikow: My best Rays moments, other than MFIKY and his untuck, David Price responded to me on twitter. It was the night before he was to start in the All Star game. I said to David Price that he had a smile as great as Dave Winfield. It was a “thank you” I’ll always cherish. David’s tweet~still makes me smile.

David Price:  @DAVIDprice14“@LoveBees: Dave Winfield has the greatest smile in MLB ever, with the exception of @DAVIDprice14 haha well thank you#MustBeADavidThing 12 Jul

Rafael Soriano aka: MFIKY! If you don’t know what that means, I’m not telling. Haa. Use your google! The “Un Tuck” man himself. The closer who is calm and serious. Looks inside his hat, scratches something in the sand, then dominates. Soriano was a bit underestimated in the beginning of 2010. The money the Rays spent on him was a debate. He proved himself, to say the least! So did Donna.

Donna received news in June, she had stage 2 breast cancer. After attending a meet and greet at Hooters for 1010am radio. Donna saw Lynne Austin, Dusty Showers and Coach Raheem Morris. She thought to herself, its been a while since I had a mammogram and decided to go. A simple “Feel your Boobies” comment saved her life! The irony of a Hooters event saving lives and boobies is priceless!

Donna aka @lovebees tweeted: I was recently diagnosed w/breast cancer. Had I not met @DustyShowers I never would have gotten a mammogram.

Donna has been a Rays fan from day one. Resides and raises her family in the Bay area, is highly involved in her children’s lives and the community. She is a true inspiration. Donna was treated at Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center by Dr. Kathleen G. Allen, MD. Donna had surgery on August 12th, some of the cancer was removed, a double mastectomy was mentioned. Other options and research were discussed. Through all this treatment, and an unimaginable stressful time, Donna remained positive, and continuously rooting on the Rays. Along with the inspiration Rafael Soriano gave her, Michael Weber and his very cool MFIKY bracelets were the good luck charm. Donna wore that bracelet religiously along with her Soriano All Star jersey. Uncountable mammograms, MRI’s, biopsy’s, you name it. At one point during treatment, one of the nurses accidentally cut the bracelet! Donna thought “There went my good ju ju”… With a call to Michael, she had another MFIKY bracelet in no time.

@LoveBees Donna: Early morning my sweets. Will check in as soon as I get home. Thanks for the love XOXO 25 Oct

@LoveBees Donna: I am home, went well (if your into flesh drilling and boob smashing that is).The Valium is pretty awesome though. Will know results tomorrow 26 Oct

@LoveBees Donna: More cancer, just a wee bit more. Surgery in week or so,also a B59 test, taking marrow from my hips for research. This makes me happy 27 Oct

After dropping her daughter off at school one day. Donna received a call, the cancer was anomaly, couldn’t be passed on to her precious daughter. Cancer was gone. Donna dominated the cancer like Soriano on the mound!

Donna tweeted on October 28th: Genetic tissue testing reports states breast cancer has less than 10% chance of recurrence. Slam Dunk of a day. Don’t want it to end!

Donna said something to me yesterday I’ll never forget … “I dreamt of him last night. He is #MFIKY and cannot be owned by anyone. The one thought that got me through 2010 is #UnTuck. That statement alone speaks volumes! The spirit of Soriano saw me through breast cancer this summer, for that I will always be grateful.

In the words of Michael Webber: “I would’ve never guessed an off-color nickname pilfered from a Braves fan message board would turn into a spark that could be used to fight cancer.”

Donna continues radiation at The Lykes Pavillion at Morton Plant. She is an amazing woman, wife, mother and friend. Not to mention all the people she has touched through her experience.

Donna’s courageous, humble attitude along with the inspiration of Rafael Soriano most definitely, is MY best memory of the Rays 2010 season.

Donna wanted to thank all that helped her through this past summer:
Paul Driscoll and his gang of merry tweeters of course… Clark Brooks, Kelly Hickman, Renee Warmack, Melissa Moore, Heather Stark, Jane Johnson Graves, Ed Bennett, Dusty Showers, Lynne Austin, Clarence Hill, Crystal Burnett, Suzette Borges, Kevin Fern, Jim Deitch, Jim Collier, Ashely Harrington, Tim Chong. I’m sure there’s many more… I LOVE YOU ALL! ~ Donna

LoveBees and Friends by the wonderful Ed Bennett

Dr. Kathleen Allen practices general surgery in Clearwater, Florida.
Dr. Allen graduated with an MD 12 years ago.

Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center
303 Pinellas Street
Clearwater, FL  33756
Office: (727) 298-6670
For appointments: (727) 461-8555

Mammography voucher program number from Susan Cheek Center 727-820-4177

Donna’s tough journey really hit home. I lost my dear friend last September to breast cancer. A 33yr old mom, who left three beautiful boys. Another friend was also taken too soon. Just 3 months later. After an on going battle and complications, Michael passed in December. It was a year last week. It still hurts. To honor their lives, and for Jen’s precious sons. I promised myself to try and help those who have a chance, until there is a cure.

My little sister, devotes her time, education and undying dedication to finding a cure. Kristen Jonathan is at Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. I don’t say enough how proud I am of her. I admire you and commend the work you do everyday sister!

Early detection is extremely important. If this story urges one person to go get tested, mission accomplished.

Donna, thank you for who you are and sharing your story! XOXO

Truly, Jenny