By Michelle Homer / KHOU.com
HOUSTON -- The threat of rain and long lines didn't stop fans of Craig Biggio from lining up outside a River Oaks gift shop Saturday.
Biggio was inside Events on West Gray to sign copies of a coffee table book called "Biggio -The Final Game."
The book by Michael Hart features photos of Biggio's last game at Minute Maid Park on September 30, 2007. Biggio spent his entire 20-year career in Houston and is one of the most beloved Astros of all time.
"It broke my heart that he wasn't going to play anymore," said Kim Fisher, who wore her Biggio jersey as she waited in line holding a stack of books. "I can hardly stand to go to the games now knowing that he won't be there."
Fisher's husband, Wade, knew the book signing was the perfect way to celebrate their second wedding anniversary.
"There was nothing better that could top this," said Kim.
Fans of all ages were thrilled for the chance to meet Biggio. But the retired ballplayer wasn't really there to promote the book. He was there on Valentine's Day to promote a cause close to his heart called "Chloe's Wish."
Chloe Castillo was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing's sarcoma on her 7th birthday.
She'd been having flu-like symptoms and pain in her side for a few months, but frequent trips to the pediatrician offered no answers. Her parents took her to the hospital when she began suffering from shortness of breath hours before her birthday party. Doctors found a grapefruit-sized tumor pressing up against her lung. It was cancer.
Chloe would spend the next two years in and out of Texas Children's Hospital.
Biggio's wife Patty said they first met Chloe when their son Connor was hospitalized with a bone infection.
"It was around Christmas time and she came by Connor's room with a build-a-bear," Patty Biggio remembered.
The big-hearted little girl wanted to make sure other patients had something for Christmas so she and her family went from room to room, passing out the bears.
"Her dad and brother recognized Craig and they said 'Chloe, do you know who this is? This is an Astro.' And she went 'Are you my favorite Astro, Jeff Bagwell?'" Patty Biggio said laughing. "So Craig and her were buddies ever since."
Chloe's parents, Anthony and Joyce, and sister Chelsea pose with Craig Biggio at his book signing.
"Ever since that day they met, they hit it off and a bond grew between them," said Anthony Castillo.
The Biggios' 9-year-old daughter Quinn also befriended the young cancer patient.
"I loved that smile of hers," Quinn said.
On June 10, 2008, Chloe died just two days shy of her ninth birthday.
The Biggios and Castillos wore pins with a photo of Chloe and Craig on Saturday.
"Up until the last final weeks of her life, he was in her life. He was always there for her," Anthony Castillo said.
"Chloe's Wish" grew out of a conversation between father and daughter during one of the toughest times in her long battle with cancer. She had just been released from intensive care and was sitting on the couch with her father in the early morning hours. She began asking questions that no father should ever have to answer.
"One of the questions was 'Am I going to die?' and another question was 'Am I going to lose my hair?" Anthony Castillo remembered. "And we went through all that, just me and her in a very intense conversation, as you could imagine. And I told her that I would take all the pain away and the disease away if I could. And she told me 'No dad, I would never want anyone to go through what I'm going through."
And that would become Chloe's wish and her legacy -- that no other child would ever have to suffer with Ewing's sarcoma.
Now the Castillos and Biggios have teamed up to help raise money to fight Ewing's sarcoma.
"And we're just overwhelmed at Patty and Craig's generosity," said Joyce Castillo. "We know that all these people are here because of Craig and because he's just a wonderful human being and they love him. But the best part of the whole thing is that all this money that's raised is going to go to Ewing Sarcoma research.
"That's our goal in life now," she said. "We want something good to come out of losing our baby."
"Everyone has a story to tell and we feel that Chloe's is a very inspirational story. And if we can have something come out of this, we're going to do that," agreed Anthony. "We're going to use every ounce of energy that we have to be able to do that."
"Chloe's Wish" raises money to help fund research to fight Ewing's sarcoma. If you'd like to make a donation to "Chloe's Wish," you can send a check to Texas Children's Hospital in her memory.