CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of patients at Advocate Children's Hospital got a special surprise Monday: They're going on a trip of a lifetime to Chicago Cubs spring training in Mesa, Ariz.
A midday visit to Wrigley Field in February seemed a little suspicious to these young Cubs fans, but they went with it. And as a result they got a big surprise, delivered to them by Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom.
"On behalf of the Chicago Cubs and Advocate Healthcare, you guys are going on an all-expenses paid trip to, drumroll please... Spring training! Let's go!" Wisdom said in his video message.
Bria Schmidt, 16, Jonathan Slota, 15, and 11-year-old Ian Slager were stunned
"Shocked. I didn't see it coming at all," Slager said.
Not only do they share a love of the team, but they are all recent Advocate Children's Hospital patients. They were picked to travel with their families to Arizona, where they will spend three days as VIPs, meeting Cubs players and watching games.
"I did not expect any of this. My mouth dropped to the ground," said Schmidt.
Schmidt was treated at Advocate last year for Hodgkin's lymphoma. She's been in remission since November.
"I appreciate all they did for me. I would not be able to get through this without them," she said.
Schmidt's mother said the trip is a reward for enduring a debilitating illness.
"You can't even imagine what it's like to see your child go through something like that. So I'm happy to see her enjoy something she likes," said Lainie Schmidt.
Ian Slager was born with multiple heart defects, and after several surgeries is doing well. He and his family developed a bond with his doctor.
"Not only is he doing well from a cardiac standpoint, he's doing well from a developmental standpoint and he's a great baseball fan and player," said Dr. Andrew Van Bergen.
The families leave for the trip next week. It grew from a partnership between Advocate Children's Hospital and the Cubs, and has now become an annual tradition.