A busy mom with a big league job, Angie Mentink had
competing thoughts running through her brain when it came to her own health.
“I know I’m fine, but what if I wasn’t?” she wondered.
At age 44, the ROOT SPORTS broadcaster decided to use
leftover money from her flexible spending account to get a mammogram. She
didn’t have a family history of breast cancer. But her doctor suggested it, and
it seemed like the smart thing to do.
When the doctor ordered a biopsy after seeing something
unusual in her results, she started to get nervous. She worked the Seattle Mariners
game that night, as usual, and tried to keep herself busy.
“Those things happen to other people. I’m healthy,” she told
On the day she expected her biopsy results, she set her
phone just outside the shower so she wouldn’t miss the call. The phone rang and
she dried off one ear.. Within seconds she realized she needed to find a pen
and paper to write down what she was hearing.
The results weren’t good. It was cancer.
Shocked by the news, she wandered naked into the room where
her husband was sitting. He asked her what was wrong. The news spilled out,
along with an apology.
“I looked at him and said, ‘I’m sorry,’” she recalled. “You
feel like somehow you messed up.”
The lifelong athlete also felt betrayed by her body. Angie
was an All-American softball player at the University of Washington and a
professional baseball player with the Colorado Silver Bullets.
“You want your body to perform and do what it’s supposed to
do. When it doesn’t, it’s really strange,” she said.
She tweeted her diagnosis before the Mariners game that
night. The response was swift and supportive.
Steals for the Cure
Angie is teaming up with Premera Blue Cross this year to help spread the word about this important issue and Premera’s Steals for the Cure program. For each steal by the Seattle Mariners, Premera will donate $500 to Susan G. Komen Puget Sound, up to $30,000 total.
Angie took a rare night off and watched the game from home.
In the stands, fans held signs that said #AngieStrong and her fellow
broadcasters shared words of support. The Mariners signed a pink bat for her,
now displayed on her mantle.
All the support helped Angie and her family cope. Humor
“I’m so tired of talking about my boobs,” she joked. “You’ve
got to keep your sense of humor about it. Otherwise it can be all consuming.”
After radiation treatment in late 2017, Angie is cancer
free. She continues to take tamoxifen to block cancer growth and gets regular
checkups to make sure she’s still in the clear.
She credits early detection for her positive outcome. Her
message to other women is this: “Be like me. Be the person that went in.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women
ages 50-74 with average breast cancer risk receive a mammogram every 2 years.
Before age 50, women should talk to their doctor about the specific benefits
and risks of breast cancer screening.
“We make sure our kids have the right hat and the socks they
like for baseball practice. We’re the ones who know how to butter their toast
perfectly,” Angie said. “We do all these things for all these people. But if
something happens to us, we can’t do that.”