Chicago Cubs first baseman and cancer survivor Anthony Rizzo hosted the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation’s annual Walk-Off for Cancer fundraiser. Presented by Gallagher and the Levinson Family, the event consisted of a 5K walk, entertainment, refreshments, and special guest appearances from local dignitaries and celebrities.
The walk benefits Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and provides direct funding to families battling cancer.
The event was attended by more than 1,200 people and raised $1.3 million dollars to aid families struggling with a child’s pediatric cancer diagnosis and treatment.
At the fundraiser, Rizzo, the first baseman for the Chicago Cubs and a South Florida resident, presented a check for $1 million to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation to establish endowments that will provide ‘forever funds’ to assist families at the Hollywood-based facility.
The donation will establishes two endowments that will provide ‘forever funds’ to aid patients and families fighting pediatric cancer at the children’s hospital. The “Hope 44 Endowed Fund” will provide grants on a case-by-case basis for families facing financial hardship during a child’s cancer treatment. The “Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Child Life Endowed Fund” allocates the resources for a full-time oncology child life specialist, a professional who helps reduce anxiety and normalize the hospital experience for both patients and families. One of the founding principles of the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation is the individual does not battle cancer alone, but the whole family battles it together.
“When my family and I started the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation eight years ago, it was our dream to help as many families as we could battling pediatric cancer. Today, that dream has become a reality,” said Rizzo. “I am excited our foundation will continue to support Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital by giving a million-dollar endowment to assist more South Florida families. With this forever fund, we will be able to help patients to stay strong and dream big.”
Rizzo was diagnosed and treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, just as he was beginning his professional baseball career.
The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Chicago Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo. Anthony realized during his own battle with cancer that no matter how difficult fighting cancer was for him, it was even more difficult for his family. Anthony believes that an individual does not battle cancer alone, but that the whole family battles it together. The Mission of the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation is to raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease. The Foundation is run entirely by Anthony’s family, his close friends and his management team with Anthony providing oversight and leadership. All of us at the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation believe that every family deserves a fighting chance.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital currently has 226 licensed beds, seven operating rooms, and an entire floor dedicated to pediatric oncology, all in a caring, compassionate setting designed specifically for children. It is South Broward county’s only level one pediatric trauma center, combining advanced technology, the expertise of some of South Florida’s most diverse, board-certified specialists, and a patient and family-centered focus to heal the body, mind, and spirit of those it touches.
The hospital’s nonprofit foundation raises funds to assist patients, families, and underwrite programs, facilities, and equipment that support the pediatric facility’s mission.