Mothers’ Day extra special for Goldeyes’ Romanski

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FARGO, N.D. – For the better part of his lifetime, Mother’s Day has carried an extra special meaning for Winnipeg Goldeyes’ outfielder Josh Romanski.

Sheila Romanski was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, and is a four-time survivor of the disease.

“She’s obviously a fighter,” said Romanski. “She says all the time that her kids were the reason why she kept such a positive outlook and did her best to fight it.”

Sheila and her husband, Andy, have four children (three sons and one daughter), including Josh who has returned to the Goldeyes for a fourth season.

“It definitely brought our family closer together,” said Romanski, the 2017 American Association Most Valuable Player. “That’s about as real as it gets. She’s been able to come out on the other side. It was a battle for her for a while there, and now she’s able to give back and try to help other people in their fight.”

Sheila founded Crystal Roses in 2011, a non-profit organization that supports those affected by cancer.


Goldeyes’ Josh Romanski. DAN LeMOAL/Winnipeg Goldeyes

“She helps out the family in any way possible,” Romanski explained. “Whether it’s with their hospital visits, their transportation, or if they need home care, her organization does anything they can to assist. It’s the type of assistance that she felt she would have benefitted from, or would have made her life or our family’s life easier.”

The organization is seeking to expand, and hopes to open a Crystal Roses house that would take in cancer patients and help them in areas such as nutrition and overall wellness.

Following an All-American career at the University of San Diego, Romanski was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth round in 2008. On the same day of his selection, Romanski learned his mother’s cancer had returned.

“Twenty minutes after we got the news that I had been drafted, she gets a call from the doctor saying her cancer had come back,” Romanski said. “That one was especially tough because she had beaten it already and it had been in remission for 12 years. It was a very surreal day all around with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. She felt bad and said, ‘This is what you’ve been working for, and I can’t believe it happened on the same day,’ but there are obviously more important things in life than baseball.

“She had to go into surgery about three weeks after the draft, and I wanted to be around for that,” Romanski continued. “I didn’t report to my affiliate, because I wanted to be there for her. I showed up late for the (baseball) season, but it was the right thing to do.”

Romanski, who was a crucial member of the Goldeyes’ 2016 and 2017 American Association championship teams, continues to draw inspiration from his mother’s story.

Eight years after his final season at the University of San Diego, the 32-year-old graduated with a Communications degree, and was able to have both parents by his side during the commencement ceremony.

“A lot of the battle is mental,” said Romanski. “Obviously, your brain can’t fix it, but if you keep your spirits up and keep your energy up, your body fights it differently. She’s a firm believer in that. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It hits everyone. Her organization is unique, and it’s starting to grow. I hope it takes off, because a lot of people need the help.”

Crystal Roses is based out of Corona, Calif. More information can be found at their website http://www.crystalroseshelps.com



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