Cancer patient's autographed photo of Anthony Rizzo stolen

A brave young Cubs fan had her autographed picture of Anthony Rizzo stolen in the hospital.

Thankfully, the team and Rizzo stepped up to the plate for her.

12 year-old Abby Shrage is a survivor. The young cancer patient from downstate Illinois recently had a bone marrow transplant as she's battling the disease for the second time.

Abby's source of inspiration came from a picture worth much more than a thousand words: an autographed picture of Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo.

The young cubs fan draws strength from Rizzo’s own battle with the disease. Rizzo beat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was just 18 and dedicates his time to helping kids like Abby. He personally sent Abby an autographed photo along with a note last year telling her anything is possible. Abby has taken that to heart and it's carried her through some dark times.

But Abby's prized possession disappeared from her room at St. Louis Children's Hospital on Friday, devastating the faithful fan who's already suffered so much. The family thinks someone stole it.

Once the hospital was aware, they sprang into action and contacted the Cubs who immediately responded.

"Once our team also found out, we understand what these items really do mean to the families and the patients and we got on the horn and did our best, and at this time there is a new autographed photo of Anthony Rizzo coming down from Chicago arriving at St. Louis Children's hospital for Abby and her family,” the Cubs said.

The team even threw in a signed ball for good measure. But Abby and even her mom don't know about it yet. The hospital will be surprising both with the new items on Wednesday.

Once Abby beats the disease again, her dream is to see her slugger up close and personal and take in a game at Wrigley.

If you'd like to help her with that dream or just send her an encouraging word, go to her Facebook page, “Team Abby Normal.”

Abby’s dad is a Cardinals fan, but after seeing the way the Cubs have rallied to support his daughter, he says he's now considering changing teams.

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