A 12-year-old Illinois girl battling brain cancer had her autographed photo of Anthony Rizzo taken from her hospital room, her family said.
Abby Schrage’s mother had brought the young girl’s favorite signed photo to her room at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in hopes of lifting her spirits as she faces her second round of brain cancer.
"I thought, well, 'Hey, we brought her Anthony Rizzo picture with us to her previous stays for her chemo,' we figured why not bring it again for good inspiration, good boost," Abby’s mother Jill Schrage told NBC 5. "She's starting to wake up, she can see, 'hey, there is life after cancer.'"
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But on Friday, as Abby visited with her siblings for the first time in weeks, the family realized the photo had mysteriously disappeared from the window it had been taped to.
"How anybody could take something like this from a sick child..." Schrage said.
Abby, who is from Highland, Illinois, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 11 in 2016. Within six months, she had beaten her tumors and was on her way to recovery.
But in May, she relapsed and in September, she underwent a bone marrow transplant. She has been in the hospital ever since due to complications with the procedure.
Abby received her beloved photo of the Cubs’ first baseman, a cancer survivor, along with a letter in June of 2017.
“She is quite the fighter and Anthony is a huge inspiration of what one can do after cancer,” Schrage said.
The family has searched the room for the missing image and are hoping that whoever took it might be willing to return it to them.
"Mostly, I would like to get her picture back... that's the main thing," Schrage said.
The hospital said an investigation into the missing photo is underway.
“We know how much this stuff really does mean to our patients and their families,” Laura High, a spokesperson for the hospital said.
The Anthony Rizzo Foundation said the Cubs' first baseman was upset to hear what happened to Abby and has arranged for the young girl to get a brand new photo and an autographed jersey sent to her.