Terri Castelli at Yankees Fantasy Camp
Tampa, Florida - From a distance the pinstripes are the same and the sounds familiar, but on Friday some different players are filling out New York Yankee uniforms on Steinbrenner Field. About 90 women are at fantasy camp living out their baseball dreams. "Goooo dogs," shouts the RiverDogs team heading off the field.
Women attend the Yankees Fantasy Camp for all different reasons; some love playing the game, others just adore the Yankees. But for one camper, just making it to the green field was a life-saving goal.
"About this time last year I was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer," says Terri Castelli, a mother of two from New Jersey.
We'll get back to Terri's cancer, but first you have to understand that she's a Yankee fanatic. "She really loves it," says her eight-year-old daughter Olivia. "She watches every single baseball game on TV."
So it only makes sense that Terri is having a blast fielding balls from Yankee greats like former shortstop Bucky Dent. "It's Bucky Dent! It's intimidating," says Terri with a laugh.
But snagging a grounder is nothing compared to what Terri's been through: spreading cancer, double mastectomy and chemo sessions ending just weeks ago.
Of course Terri wanted to get better, but the prospect of attending Fantasy Camp was a major motivator. "Throughout the procedures, some of the darker times, she kept saying, 'All I need to do is throw a ball and swing a bat and I'll be happy,'" says Terri's husband Jim Castelli.
"To be in this good shape and to feel as good as I do today is a blessing," says Terri. "I'm very happy to be here."
So with her number one fans Olivia and Gavin, 5, cheering her from the stands. "Let's go mommy, let's go mommy!" Terri is living a fantasy--but most of all she's living.