WESTWOOD, Kan. -- Mary Leach ponders life and baseball as she sits in a treatment room at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Life threw her a devastating curve in July. At age 25, Leach has breast cancer in both breasts. Two different types.
"We've gotten through those difficult days and they come just as often as the good days," she said.
Within a few weeks of her diagnosis, the Royals got scorching hot. They've been Leach's positive distraction ever since, just as they are now for so many others in chemotherapy.
"People are here because they want more of life, and the Royals have given us more of life right now. It's been great," said Meagan Dwyer, a psychologist at the cancer center.
Dwyer says patients don't feel so isolated. They are fans like the rest of us.
"You're a part of this. You're watching the games. You're still able to comment on what's going on," said Dwyer.
Magically, Leach, her fiance' and her parents watched the Royals win the American League pennant in person. The tickets were provided by someone very close to the team. That celebration replaced her wedding which was supposed to be in October but was postponed because of treatment.
"So I've told my finance', Craig, that no, we may not get married this month but we got to see history," said Leach.
When she thinks of her fight -- the chemo still to be infused and the double mastectomy she faces at the end of the year -- Leach thinks of how the Royals fought in the wild card game.
"There's a lot of times you're down 7-3 in the 8th inning and don't think you're gonna win. There's a lot of bad days. They're tough. But to watch them come back and fight is inspiring," Leach said.
And maybe that's what baseball is for.