Tuscola Rangers fan achieves 'once in a lifetime' dream
ABILENE, Texas - Ronda Ashenfelter is a Texas Rangers fan.
A big one.
So when she was named the Rangers honorary bat girl, it was a dream come true.
"I'm super excited, beyond words" said Ronda as she sat with her husband in the media room in the stadium.
On May 9, the Rangers held the annual "MLB Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" game against the Chicago White Sox. Ronda had the best seat in the stadium.
"It's once in a lifetime -- once in a lifetime."
When she's not standing on the infield or sitting in her season ticket-reserved seats watching the game, Ronda is back at home in Tuscola watching road games from her back porch with a lineup of hats, balls, and even bobble heads.
But life threw this Rangers fan a curve ball in September 2011.
"My doctor called me back, and he said, 'We're going to have to get you in to see an oncologist,'" Ronda continued, "and I'm like, 'For?' He said, 'You have breast cancer.'"
Ronda was in disbelief -- what started as stage one breast cancer quickly spread to her spine, ribs, and collarbone.
"The whole time, I'm sitting there thinking, you have me messed up with someone else. I'm not that sick." She disagreed with the diagnosis, but refused to give up.
"I don't want to live in fear of what could be, I don't want to count how many days I have left, I want to make the days I have count," Ronda said.
One of the ways Ronda continues to make the most of every day is by taking a page out of the baseball playbook.
"You win some games and you lose some games. I have gone through so many different chemos and they have all failed, but I still look forward to what the next treatment is going to be beacause I'm very optimistic they're going to find a cure," Ronda said.
Life hasn't always thrown Ronda the perfect pitch, but on May 9 -- at her home away from home -- she threw out her perfect first pitch.
"I don't want this day to end."