Since his arrival to the Cubs in 2012, Anthony Rizzo has helped transform the team from the laughingstock of baseball to one of the best teams in baseball. Very few people will argue against the fact that Rizzo is the undisputed “heartbeat” of the team and under his leadership, fans have gotten to witness the Cubs do the unthinkable of winning a World Series championship.
His leadership and baseball statistics speak for themselves but the aspect of Anthony Rizzo that I find to be most impressive is his dedication to a cause that falls outside of the game of baseball — researching children’s cancer. In 2008, Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was an 18-year-old minor leaguer playing in the Boston Red Sox farm system and underwent six brutal months of chemotherapy effectively halting his professional baseball career.
Rizzo has defeated cancer and has been in remission since September of 2008 and hasn’t looked back since. However, his experience with beating cancer has left such an impact on him that he decided to start his own organization, The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, who’s mission is,
“To raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease.”
Rizzo holds numerous events throughout the course of the year to benefit researching cancer which always involve his Cubs teammates. Over the course of his time in Chicago, Rizzo and his foundation have donated over $4 million dollars to Lurie’s Childrens Hospital, a major childrens hospital located in Chicago.
Per David Matthews of DNAinfoChicago, the Rizzo foundation announced yesterday that they’d be giving a gift of $3.5 million dollars to the hospital located at 225 E. Chicago.
As a token of their appreciate for Rizzo’s generosity, the hospital has re-named their 18th floor waiting room to the “Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Waiting Room” to pay homage to the Cubs first baseman’s generosity. The 18th floor houses the Stem cell unit and outpatient cancer center.
The money will go towards supporting two oncology specialists at the hospital who will “reduce anxiety and normalize the hospital experience for both patients and families,” the hospital said in a press release.
I absolutely love that one of the major faces of the Chicago Cubs puts so much time and energy into a cause that benefits so many other people. I’ve written about Rizzo’s generosity a couple of other times and have had the families reach out to me to express how grateful they are for Rizzo’s help during their families difficult time. He’s always been a class act in setting an example to show the power that professional athletes hold when it comes to helping others in need.
Well done, Anthony.