7-year-old Cubs fan battling rare brain tumor has passed away

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DARIEN, Ill. -- Joey Ventimiglia, the 7-year-old boy in Darien battling a rare form of cancer, has passed away.

WGN introduced viewers to Joey and his family a few months ago, where his family told us about his illness -- and love for the Chicago Cubs.

Joey was 6 when he was diagnosed with DIPG -- Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, is a brain tumor that rests in the pons of the brain. This area controls essential bodily functions such as the heartbeat, breathing, eyesight, and balance.

There is no cure for DIPG, and it is aggressive. The median survival time is just nine months from the time of diagnosis.

After our story first aired, it caught the attention of local muralist Ken Markiewicz. He stepped up to paint Joey's room a Cubs theme and get his closet doors signed by the Cubs.

It was an amazing moment for Joey and the rest of the Ventimiglia family.

Joey was laid to rest this week.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be sent to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.


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