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  • MHS pink bag

    Courtesy photo

    Michele Meska is flanked by daughter, Kristina, and oncology nurse Don Jordan on Friday, when the Monarch softball team delivered pink bags to breast cancer patients at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.

  • MHS pink photo 2

    Courtesy photo

    Monarch softball players delivered more than 75 pink bags to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center on Friday. The bags contained comfort items for breast cancer patients.



In the fall, Monarch softball players partook in their annual tradition of putting together pink bags for breast cancer patients.

The Coyotes planned to deliver those bags of comfort items sometime near Christmas, but due to a cruel twist, those plans changed. Michele Meska, a two-time survivor who spearheaded the effort, was diagnosed with breast cancer for a third time.

Meska, the mother of Monarch first baseman Kristina Meska and graduated pitcher Kaitlyn Meska, has been undergoing treatment at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Boulder — the precise place where the Coyotes annually drop off the bags.

On Friday, Michele Meska and the Monarch players delivered the bags to RMCC, with Meska serving the dual role of provider and patient.

“That’s how I got the idea for it the first year we did it, is the bag that I got was filled with all sorts of comfort items,” Michele Meska said. “That was Valentine’s Day of 2012, I believe, when I was going through it the second time.”

Although the delivery of the 70-plus bags was a few months after initially planned and amidst the backdrop of somber circumstances, the effort was well received, as the Coyotes absolutely achieved their purpose.

In October, the team encouraged the public to donate items such as hard candies, blankets, books and anything else that might help brighten a patient’s stay. Players then put the bags together, decorating them and making them snazzy for the patients.

The Coyotes increased last season’s effort by about 40 bags.

“One lady who was elderly, we gave her the bag and she was excited to go through it and could not believe the girls would do something like that,” Meska said. “Another lady told the girls that volunteering is a great and they needed to continue to do it.”

Shirley Brice, another Monarch parent who regularly helps Meska coordinate the event, said the event was an unabashed success. It hit close to home for patients, because not only were they receiving bags from students, but from a survivor and a current patient.

“It was wonderful,” said Brice, whose daughter Jane Polyard is a Monarch infielder. “Michele was there and she was incredible. Michele’s nurse, Don Jordan, was there and gave us an impassioned talk about how courageous she is.”

Meska is a BRCA1 carrier, which predisposes breast cancer. In her latest occurrence, she began feeling lower-back pain in October that first was believed to be a kidney infection. Antibiotics failed to ease the pain.

After some trial and error, which included work with a chiropractor, cancer was discovered in her liver and her spine. It was still breast cancer, but one that spread outside of the breast region.

Meska continues to undergo treatment. And if anyone on the planet knows how far gestures of kindness go, it’s her.

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