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Matt Szczur: Cubs Hero

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We often talk about how sports stars are heroes. Matt Szczur is a true hero.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of talk about how Anthony Rizzo snapped out of his mini-slump in the National League Championship Series by borrowing a bat from Matt Szczur, who is not on the playoff roster. Even if he’s not in the lineup, Szczur tries to find a way to contribute.

Of course, this is not the most important donation in Szczur’s life. Back in 2010, Szczur donated his bone marrow to an unknown little girl after he was identified as a perfect donor by the Be The Match organization. Despite the fact that it cost Szczur several weeks of his junior season in baseball at Villanova, Matt never hesitated. If it meant saving a life, the baseball scouts could wait.

A year later, Matt got to meet the little girl whose life he saved. Her name was Anastasia and she was from the Donetsk area of the Ukraine. Back in 2013, ESPN ran this piece on Matt and Anastasia and the bond that they share. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should watch it now.

Now clearly, there’s another shoe to drop here. If you’ve followed international events over the past few years, you know that the area around Donetsk in the Ukraine is where a war has taken place between Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government. After the fighting started, Szczur lost contact with the family.

Now, finally, we have an update on what happened to Anastasia’s family. Matt himself has posted the video of that ESPN story. The video is password protected, but Matt Tweeted out the password and it’s “Szczur.” (no quote marks, case sensitive.)

Be sure to have a tissue available when you watch this. And let’s add Anastasia to the list of all the people we want to see the Cubs win it all for.