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Santorum child ill; cancels Fla. schedule

Santorum child ill; cancels Fla. schedule
Republican 2012 presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hugs his wife Karen as they arrive to meet supporters at the Pizza Ranch, campaigning in Boone, Iowa, January 2, 2012. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Rick Santorum's campaign announced it was canceling Sunday's appearances after the Republican presidential hopeful's daughter was hospitalized in Philadelphia.

Bella Santorum, 3, was admitted to Children's Hospital for reasons that were not specified in a brief written statement issued late Saturday.

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"The campaign will cancel Rick's upcoming Sunday morning Florida campaign schedule," the statement said, "Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible."

Bella's hospitalization came just days before the Florida Republican primary. Santorum is considered to be a long shot to upset both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich; however Politico said Santorum's spokesman said the Pennsylvania senator was not dropping out of the primary.

Bella is afflicted with a genetic birth defect known as Trisomy-18, which refers to the presence of an extra 18th chromosome. The Hill said the disorder affects the immune system, which makes even simple illnesses such as a cold potentially dangerous.

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