Young Boy Passes Away After Being Surprised by Cubs During Battle With Brain Tumor - NBC Chicago
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Young Boy Passes Away After Being Surprised by Cubs During Battle With Brain Tumor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Boy Battling Brain Tumor 'Surprised' By Unique Gift From Cubs

    A muralist paired up with the Chicago Cubs to make life brighter for a Darien boy battling a difficult diagnosis--and the end result was a grand slam. Sabrina Santucci reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 13, 2017)

    A 7-year-old boy who was surprised with an incredible gift from the Chicago Cubs during his battle with a hard to treat brain tumor has passed away, his family said. 

    Joey Ventimiglia, of Darien, died last Friday after more than a year of fighting a difficult diagnosis. The young boy had been battling DLPG--an aggressive and hard to treat brain tumor.

    "It is with a heavy heart to inform you that on Friday, January 5th, Joey passed away," a Facebook page dedicated to updated on Joey's journey read. "Heaven gained a precious little angel." 

    Just a few months earlier, Joey, a big Cubs fan, received a special gift from the team he loved so much. 

    During treatment, his parents decided to redecorate his room with a Cubs mural. But that muralist paired up with the Chicago Cubs to make the surprise even greater. 

    “I was just surprised,” Joey told NBC 5 at the time. 

    After a round of treatment in October, Joey came home to his room transformed. But even greater was the surprise waiting on his closet doors: autographs from the 2017 Cubs.

    “It was cool,” he said.

    “He will just sit in there," Joey's father, Joe, said. "He loves hanging out and playing his games and looking at his room.”

    The room was complete with a seven-foot Cubs logo, outfield wall covered in ivy and a "W" flag on the ceiling.

    Muralist Ken Markiewicz helped get the doors signed.

    “I was speechless," Markiewicz said. "I mean to have them--everything that they’re doing--to take the time to just stop, take a look at it and actually sign it. And there’s so many signatures on it. It’s just unbelievable of them.”

    A funeral for Joey was held on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, the boy's family asked instead for donations to the Anthony Rizzo Foundation. 

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