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Santorum's daughter is in hospital

Rick Santorum's youngest daughter, Bella, who has a severe genetic disorder, has been hospitalized, the presidential candidate's campaign announced Friday.

"Rick and his wife, Karen, have taken their daughter Bella to the hospital. The family requests prayers and privacy as Bella works her way to recovery," spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

Bella was born in 2008 with Trisomy 18, a rare defect in which a baby has an extra chromosome that results in abnormal development of the brain and major organs. Only 1 in 10 babies born with the disorder survives the first year of life.

Santorum was already with his family in Virginia for Easter when Bella, 3, was taken to the hospital.

Bella was hospitalized with pneumonia this year, prompting Santorum to leave the campaign trail before the Florida primary. The nature of her current illness was not disclosed.

Santorum often mentions Bella on the campaign trail.

"She is doing just great and she sends her best to everybody here," Santorum told a few hundred people at a rally in Hollidaysburg, Pa., standing alongside his six other children and his wife.

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