LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While there is nothing funny about breast cancer, medical reporter Lori Lyle has the story of one family who has turned their great heartache into smiles with a tongue-in-cheek fundraising idea.
Kelly Rooney was a fun-loving wife and mother of five.
"She was so full of life. And non-stop. The energizer bunny, go, go, go," said Sean Rooney, Kelly's husband.
Tragically, the 43-year-old's life was cut all too short when breast cancer ravaged her body.
"It went to her lungs. It went to her bones. It went to her brain," Sean said.
Now, two years later, family and friends are keeping her spirit alive, with a playful wink from Kelly herself.
"While she was dying, she came up with the concept of Save 2nd Base," said Kelly Day, Kelly Rooney's best friend.
It is a name she gave some bosom buddies taking part in a 3-day walk for breast cancer.
"We said, 'oh, we need a fun name for our team.' and she said, 'how about Save 2nd Base and we'll put baseballs right here.' and we all burst out laughing," said Erin Dugery, Kelly Rooney's sister.
Now the sale of Save 2nd Base merchandise raises thousands for the Kelly Rooney Foundation.
"That money is earmarked towards the University of Pennsylvania for research and breastcancer.org which is where our money, Save 2nd Base money, is earmarked towards educating young girls about breast cancer," says Day.
"They go and talk to girls, aged 8 to 18," Dugery said.
With four young daughters of her own, that would make Kelly Rooney extremely happy.
"I know she's looking down at us now from heaven and there's a smile on her face for what a great job we're doing," says Sean.
If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, hat or bag and help raise research money and awareness of breast cancer through the Kelly Rooney Foundation, the web address is www.save2ndbase.com.
- This year, about 182,460 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S.
- About 40,480 American women will die of breast cancer.
- Annually, about 12,000 breast cancer deaths are in women under 40.
- A company, Save 2nd Basetm, produces t-shirts and other products with a baseball-themed innuendo aims to raise awareness and support for breast cancer.
For information on Save 2nd Basetm, visit the organization's website by clicking on the highlighted link.
For general information on breast cancer: