Family battling illnesses get VIP Cubs treatment at Wrigley

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Ryan Wagner, 32, is battling colon cancer and his 2-year-old son Miles has already had a liver and kidney transplant because of a rare disorder.

Last week, the family got special treatment at Wrigley Field thanks to the Chicago Cubs. The Wagners also met Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a cancer survivor who has inspired them as they dealt with their difficult reality.

"We definitely admire Rizzo," said wife Ashley Wagner. "Miles was treated at Lurie Children's Hospital and it's just so awesome to see someone you admire as a baseball player do so much off the field for the kids at Lurie."

In the Cubs dugout, wife Ashley Wagner couldn't snap the photos fast enough.

"It's just exciting," she said. "It's an opportunity to just do something fun and to forget about cancer and everything that has come with both of their conditions."

Ryan Wagner has had 70 rounds of chemo and said they are just trying to find something that works.

"We're seeing some progress, but just trying to deal with it on a day to day basis," he said.

The Dream Foundation helped make the visit possible.

"It's his first Cubs game," Ryan Wagner said of his son. "And given that they won the World Series last year, this is kind of a unique time to be able to experience it with him. And it will probably be one of my last Cubs games so putting that all together, makes it a pretty incredible experience."

Ashley Wagner said they've tried to stay positive.

"I don't think anything can prepare you for multiple curve balls that have come our way," she said. "But we've always tried to stay positive and just make the best of a really unimaginable situation."

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation has announced a $3.5 million commitment to two endowment funds at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Rizzo has said he fully aware of his powerful platform as both a baseball player and a cancer survivor.

"It's so much bigger than baseball," Rizzo said. "Right now a lot of Cubs fans look at the day-to-day numbers, but 15-20 years from now, when it's all said and done, it's going to be what you left behind here and your legacy you're leaving behind. Not only do I want to leave a good legacy on the field, it's much more important to leave it off the field."
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