Karmanos, McLaren’s 12th Pink Out the Park with Detroit Tigers Inspires Sea of Pink at Comerica Park

The Annual Pink Out the Park, a partnership between the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, the Detroit Tigers and McLaren Health Care, the official health care system of the Detroit Tigers, was a massive hit on Saturday, June 8. A sea of pink took up the field of vision at Comerica Park as the Tigers faced the Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of a three-game series. Hundreds of breast cancer survivors were honored before and during the game by players and the Tiger faithful. For the 12th year, this event was able to highlight the importance of breast cancer awareness and screenings for early detection, while giving the community an opportunity to support those affected, along with their families and friends.


Tigers Pitchers Surprise Karmanos Breast Cancer Survivors at a Pop-Up Meet and Greet

On Tuesday, May 28, the Detroit Tigers brought their crew to Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit to visit breast cancer patients and spread excitement ahead of Pink Out the Park. Patients were visited by everyone’s favorite Tiger, PAWS, and two Detroit Tigers Pitchers, Reese Olson and Joey Wentz. The players walked around the center, taking pictures with and talking to patients, hearing more about their cancer journeys, and leaving them with a pink Detroit Tigers beanie to put a smile on their faces.

Following their visits to the clinics, the Tigers crew came back for a special meet and greet with seven lucky breast cancer survivors and their loved ones.


Pink Out Batting Practice

The same seven breast cancer survivors, along with some additional invitees, were invited to see some of the Tigers players warm up at batting practice, head of the Pink Out the Park game. They were once again greeted by Wentz and received autographs from him and left fielder Mark Canha.

Pink Out on the Air

Also ahead of the 12th annual game, Karmanos survivors were on air sharing their cancer journeys with listeners and viewers.

Lynn Aston, one-year breast cancer survivor, joined Daniella Bruce of the Detroit Tigers Radio Network. When her radiologist noticed something on her mammogram results that wasn’t there the year before, Aston was diagnosed in September of 2023 at 74 years old with stage I invasive lobular carcinoma. She received radiation therapy treatments at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at The Toledo Clinic Cancer Center in Maumee, Ohio. Aston gives praise to the wonderful staff at Karmanos for her care, including Faheem Ahmad, M.D., her radiation oncologist.

Download Podcast

Lashara Morris, also a one-year breast cancer survivor, shared her story live with the broadcast team on Bally’s Sports. Read more about Morris’ journey below.



Pink Out the Park Pre-Game Ceremony and Survivor Parade

Prior to the beginning of the game, hundreds of breast cancer survivors took the field proudly wearing pink. This year’s Karmanos Starting 9 included members of the Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and supporting staff, who ran out onto the field surrounded by the patients they serve.

LaTorea McBride, a four-year breast cancer survivor and ambulatory care specialist at the Women’s Wellness Clinic in Detroit, sang a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner on the field.

Linda McIntosh, a 31-year cancer survivor, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. McIntosh sported her Tigers-gifted customized jersey on the mound as the entire stadium cheered for her recognition.

“As a frequent participant of Pink Out the Park events and a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, I cherished the opportunity and felt supported by my fellow breast cancer survivors surrounding me in a sea of pink on the field that afternoon,” McIntosh said. “Special thanks to Team Karmanos for their encouragement throughout this process. It was a day I will never forget."

Diagnosed in 1993, McIntosh has been a shining light in the breast cancer community, flying from Florida to Detroit to attend Pink Out the Park every year she can. Her message is to always get your mammogram and to always stay positive if something is found. McIntosh’s oncologist was the late Dr. Alexander Walt, whom Karmanos named the Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center after in 2000 at Karmanos Cancer Center.

Following the ceremonial first pitch, Carly Meckstroth, a two-year breast cancer survivor, delivered the game ball to the mound.

“It truly felt magical and so surreal. Little ol’ me standing in front of thousands of supportive fans after battling the scariest, most challenging time of my life,” Meckstroth said. “I kind of felt like a princess. That was a moment I won’t forget!”

Ring That Bell

To celebrate finishing breast cancer treatments, the Tigers replaced “Play Ball” with “Ring That Bell”! Diagnosed in May 2023 at age 65 with stage II ductal carcinoma, Linda LaBane has gone through a lumpectomy, radiation treatments and completed her immunotherapy treatments on May 14. She was joined by Amanda Rivett, who was diagnosed in July 2023 at 46 years old. She completed surgery, drug therapies, and recently finished her proton therapy treatments on June 6! Both women received the opportunity to “Ring That Bell” to signify the start of the Pink Out the Park game. LaBane was treated in Detroit and Rivett was treated in Flint at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint and the McLaren Proton Therapy Center.

During the game, several survivors were recognized in the stands, and some were given the opportunity to ring the bell.

Lashara Morris was diagnosed in February 2023, just before her 37th birthday. After chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy, scans showed she had no signs of the disease. Lashara’s 10-year-old daughter was one of the main reasons she decided to take on her cancer positively. She now says that her cancer diagnosis has led her to learn more about herself through new hobbies. Morris completed her comprehensive treatment in Maumee.

George Todd is a three-time cancer survivor. After being diagnosed in 2010 with male breast cancer, Todd went through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy at the Karmanos Cancer Center. He encourages men to not be afraid to see the doctor, as it could save their life.

“You can live afterwards, don't be afraid,” Todd said, “Speak to someone, go get checked, and whatever they tell you to do, do it.”

Jaclyn Williams is a fourth-generation cancer survivor, so she knew that cancer was a possibility for her. She says her diagnosis changed her life positively and she looks at life differently. She stresses to women that they should get their mammograms and if they see something, get it checked. She also suggests joining a support group if you get diagnosed so that you have people to lean on. Williams received her care at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing.

All three survivors above received a special Pink Out the Park bat.

Three other survivors had the opportunity to participate in some fun activities both on the field and on the video board.

Tina Jordan, a five-year cancer survivor, participated in Higher or Lower, a game where she got to guess if the player’s jersey number was higher or lower than a teammate’s jersey. For her participation, she was given a Tigers jersey! Jordan received her care in Detroit.

Stephanie Bukovchik was an honorary grounds crew member during Pink Out. She got the chance to replace third base between the fifth and sixth innings. Her breast cancer journey started in April of 2023 at 41 years old when she and her husband were looking into growing their family. Her doctor sent her for a mammogram and ultrasound, even after she received a screening earlier that year. That’s when the cancer was found in her left breast. Bukovchik credits her doctors for being so efficient and pushing her through the initial stages of the process. She knows that her outcome could have been different if not for the quick actions of everyone involved. Stephanie received her breast cancer treatment in Flint.

Pierina Serra was diagnosed two months before turning 50 at a routine check-up. After discovering that the cancer had spread, she was able to find a clinical trial, which she is still currently undergoing. Pierina credits her husband for being her biggest advocate, something she says anyone who is going through any cancer should have. Serra received her treatment at the Weisberg Cancer Center in Farmington Hills and continues to support cancer research at Karmanos through fundraising efforts.

At the end of the fourth inning, fans and players held up Pink Out the Park placards during a special tribute moment. This was a chance for fans to express the reason they wear pink by honoring family and friends who have been affected by breast cancer.

More than 33,000 fans attended the game, the third-largest crowd thus far at Comerica Park this season. Many people attending purchased ticket packages that included game tickets, a Pink Out getaway bag and a five-dollar donation to Karmanos Cancer Institute supporting breast cancer research. Additionally, the first 15,000 fans through the gate received a Pink Out the Park Tigers jersey. In the end, the Tigers fell just short, losing to the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-4.


Early screenings and detection are crucial in the battle against breast cancer.

Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). In the U.S., women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing the disease.

At Karmanos, the Breast Cancer MDT includes surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, plastic surgeons, pharmacists, specialized nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, genetic counselors, and patient navigators. The team focuses entirely on treating breast cancer and shares its collective expertise to create a customized treatment plan for each patient.

In the fight against cancer, early detection is an important weapon since cancer is most treatable in its early stages. Many forms of cancer do not display symptoms at their onset, so screening helps monitor for warning signs. Karmanos recommends an annual screening mammogram for all women of average risk beginning at age 40. Women with one or more risk factors should talk with their family doctor or a Karmanos expert about when to start screening for breast cancer.

Patient referrals are not needed to receive a screening mammography at Karmanos or McLaren locations. To request a mammogram appointment or learn more, visit karmanos.org/breastfacts or call 1-800-KARMANOS.


On Monday, July 8, Karmanos and McLaren will honor prostate cancer survivors and educate Tigers fans at Comerica Park about the importance of prostate cancer screenings and prevention methods when the Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Guardians. To purchase tickets, click here.