WRIGLEYVILLE — When a photo signed by Chicago Cub Anthony Rizzo went missing from Abby Schrage's room at St. Louis Children's Hospital on Friday, the hospital sprang into action.
On Wednesday, Abby not only got a similar photo back but also a signed Rizzo jersey.
The gifts were supplied by the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation and presented to Abby by Joan Magruder, president of the hospital.
The security team at the hospital also confirmed via the security footage taken from the hallway outside of Abby's room that the photo was not stolen and found no one suspicious entering or exiting her room.
"We believe it may have accidentally fallen into a trash can directly under where the photo was hanging," said hospital spokeswoman Laura High.
“We understand items like this symbolize a lot, not just to the child but to the entire family. We wanted to do whatever we could to support Abby so she and her family could focus on healing,” said Magruder. “We were eager and happy to reach out to the Anthony Rizzo Foundation and work with their team on a replacement for Abby as quickly as possible.”
The 12-year-old Cubs fan of Highland, Ill., is being treated for cancer at St. Louis Children's Hospital, and her mother told KMOV-TV that the photo was meant to serve as her inspiration, as the Cubs first baseman also battled cancer as a child and has remained supportive of research and treatment.
"I just kind of hoped it would brighten her spirits, help cheer her up,” Abby's mother, Jill Schrage, told the TV station.
On Friday, Schrage noticed the photo, which Abby received along with a letter from Rizzo in June, was missing from Abby's hospital room. Family searched the room with no luck.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Anthony Rizzo was unavailable to comment, but Green said he is not surprised by the slugger's willingness to replace what was lost.
"Anthony has a heart of gold, so I'm not surprised he would immediately respond when he learned of the missing photo," he said.
Abby was diagnosed with two germinoma brain tumors in 2016 and beat the cancer, but she relapsed this past May. She underwent a bone marrow transplant last month and experienced major complications afterward, according to KMOV-TV.
A $25,000 GoFundMe campaign to help cover Abby's medical costs was started by her volleyball team, and it currently has raised $8,268.
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