04/26/11 3:30 AM ET
Angels rally around cancer patient Beyer
By Quinn Roberts / Special to MLB.com
Beyer, 27, a former Strike Force spirit team member, came to Angel Stadium on Monday night with friends and family for the first time in two seasons since being diagnosed with breast cancer.
While she watched the Angels beat the A's 5-0 behind Jered Weaver's seven-hit shutout, Beyer couldn't help but wish she was still on the field.
"I miss being down on the field throwing out T-shirts and getting up on the dugout," Beyer said. "It is so much fun and it is such a family here.
"I really have no words because it is so overwhelming. I knew this was all being planned, but when I got here, I realized how crazy and wonderful this is. I feel so special, it is unbelievable. I feel so loved."
Loved she is, by friends and family, who before Monday's game set up tents from 5 to 7 p.m. PT to collect contributions for a Relay for Life team that is raising funds for the American Cancer Society in honor of Beyer. The Strike Force members also offered face painting and tattoos for donations.
"It just makes it 10 times better to be here with all of them," said Beyer, with 24 of her closest friends and family in an Angel Stadium suite.
Heather's brother Paul Selecky was excited to see her get out of the house.
"She was so excited to be here, even with it being such an ordeal for her to get here," Selecky said. "It is just cool to see her make an appearance and show that she has the strength to carry on.
"Everyone has come out to support her. To see complete strangers, who don't even know my sister care is an amazing thing."
What Beyer hopes more than anything for people who stopped at the booth on Monday, is that they realize cancer doesn't discriminate.
While doctors told her not to worry after finding a lump in her breast in October 2009, and later after one round of chemotherapy, telling her she was in remission, Beyer says it is important to not discount the signs your own body is giving you.
"It is the most important thing to get tested no matter how old or young you are," Beyer said. "Know yourself and be your own advocate. Don't let someone tell you that you're wrong when you are right."
Yet, still watching Monday's game in high spirits, Beyer sang to the songs that blared out of the Angel Stadium sound system in her own customized Angels jersey that read Heather across the back.
What so many of her friends and family continue to be struck by, even as her condition worsens, is Beyer's amazing spirit.
"She is an amazing woman, who has more spirit than any of us," grandmother Lil Corban said. "She holds us together. Her spirit holds us all together."
While Beyer could be cynical, asking "Why me?" at such a young age, she has found solace in realizing that this is just her time.
"It is how God built me to stay upbeat and positive," Beyer said. "Back to when I was a young girl, God made me that way knowing what I was going to come up against. I feel very overwhelmed and praised, but this is how I am and couldn't do it any other way."
Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.