Cheri Krejci of Blooming Prairie will throw out the first pitch for the Minnesota Twins this Sunday. Krejci is a cancer survivor and she is active in the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group. Rocky Hulne/
Cheri Krejci of Blooming Prairie will throw out the first pitch for the Minnesota Twins this Sunday. Krejci is a cancer survivor and she is active in the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group. Rocky Hulne/

Blooming Prairie cancer survivor will throw first pitch at Twins game

Published 10:47pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Cheri Krejci has been around sports her whole life and she’s about to get real close to the Minnesota Twins this Sunday.

Krejci, a cancer survivor who lives in Blooming Prairie, will be throwing the first pitch and serve as honorary bat girl at the Twins’ game against the Baltimore Orioles on their Breast Cancer Awareness game Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

Krejci has been a Twins fan since Harmon Killebrew was playing in Met Stadium. She has been a big part of Blooming Prairie’s Cancer Group. Krejci was nominated for the honor by her sister Cindy Owen, who coaches the Austin softball team.

“I’m really excited, but I’m really nervous,” Krejci said. “I’m not much of a baseball thrower and I’m supposed to throw out the first pitch.”

Krejci is also the sister of Grand Meadow head football coach Gary Sloan and retired Hayfield volleyball head coach Deb Harvey. She is expecting all of her siblings to be at the game with their children and she will also have her husband and children on the field with her.

Krejci’s son Aaron used to play baseball and football for the Awesome Blossoms and she’s hoping she doesn’t let him down with her pitch.

“I maybe should’ve took some pitching lessons from Aaron,” she said. “He’s going to be laughing at me I’m afraid.”

Krejci has been involved with the BP Cancer Group for the past 10 years and she lost both of her parents to cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer a week before Christmas in 2009 and she had a double mastectomy on New Year’s day in 2010. By March of 2010 her chemotherapy was finished and Krejci is now cancer free.

Despite seeing her dad lose his battle with cancer shortly after he was diagnosed and helping her mother battle with cancer for five years, Krejci was not exactly prepared for her own bout with cancer.

“I helped take care of both of (my parents) and when I got it, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It’s a life changing experience. You know people that have cancer and I thought I had pretty much been through it all with my mom and my dad. But when it happens to you, it’s a whole different story.”

The BP Cancer group raises money for cancer research, but it also has a community fund that helps cancer patients buy giving them gas cards and grocery certificates. They helped provide a wheel chair ramp for one patient.

The group holds plenty of fund raisers, but the big one is the two night live auction under a big top tent in September in BP. Krejci said she’s going to see if the Minnesota Twins will help out with this year’s auction.

“You can bet that when I’m up there with the Twins I’ll be asking them what they want to donate for the cancer auction,” she said.

In her spare time, Krejci watches her sister Cindy coach the Packer softball team and she watches her brother Gary coach the Superlarks football team. While all of her siblings took up coaching, Krejci said she never felt the desire to it or to teach.

Instead she does bookwork at her family’s business — Krejci Ford in BP.

She said working with family gives her flexibility to help with the BP cancer group.

Krejci’s ordeal with cancer has changed her perspective on life as she has learned that some things are not worth the stress.

“I learned to not worry about the small things. You just do what you can do and enjoy life,” Krejci said.

Krejci was selected out of 13 candidates in Minnesota after her sister Cindy sent a story about her to the Twins that was judged by Major League Baseball players and was subject to an online vote.

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