by Courtney Carlmark
The woman known to the Sacramento Kings and their fans as the "Sign Lady" has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Barbara Rust always has a handmade sign and a smile for the team at its games. For the past 25 seasons she and her husband Niko have sat in the same seats at the Kings' home arena.
After learning of her diagnosis, the Kings and the Sacramento community are expressing their support and love for Rust. They're hoping it helps her find the strength to beat cancer and keep coming to the games with her signs and chin held high.
"She is the heart and soul of what we do," Kings President Chris Granger said. "She deserves all the love and support she's getting and then some."
Niko Rust announced the news over Twitter recently. Word spread quickly, and #loveforsignlady became a top trend in Sacramento.
"Our prayers will get her through this, there is no doubt in my mind," Kings Announcer Grant Napear said. "When the Kings run out of the tunnel, she'll be there with her 10-15 signs and maybe she will be the one who gets the standing ovation because she deserves it."
Niko Rust said an MRI showed the tumor has not spread and Barb will have surgery soon to remove it.