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September 7, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) reacts at first base after hitting a single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Rizzo's First Annual "Walk Off For Cancer" A Great Success

Through the stat lines and the bright game time lights, baseball players are no different from you or I. They’re simply flesh and blood who often fight emotions and sickness just like us.

This is something that Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo knows all too well.

In 2008, Rizzo was diagnosed with lymphoma while he was a member of the Boston Red Sox organization. Lymphoma, being a cancerous infection of the lymphatic nodes which are pivotal to the immune system’s functions, is a very serious condition which can often be debilitating and deadly. Rizzo has since conquered the illness and now contributes his time, cash and efforts to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.

In true Rizzo style, his organization hosted the First Annual Walk Off For Cancer in Parkland, Florida today which was nothing but successful from top to bottom. The walk, which raised funds for families of lymphoma sufferers and victims, boasted over 800 participants in the 5 kilometer walk raising over $63,000 in the process.

Rizzo also lost his grandmother to cancer and feels that family is vital when fighting off any illness.

This foundation, it means a lot to me because it’s a family foundation – the family really helped out.

Rizzo’s walk generated much buzz in the MLB drawing out the likes of Hall of Famer Andre Dawson and current Oakland A’s OF Yoenis Cespedes to participate in the event.

Cubs’ fans are no stranger to players investing their efforts in good causes. Both Ryan Demptser and Kerry Wood still have Chicago based fundraising organisations for various causes. Rizzo only hopes to emulate their successes:

Kerry and Dempster, they’ve set the bar with their foundations in Chicago. We just hope to build on this

All funds raised will benefit the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami health system, as well as Livestrong.

While these fundraisers not only give the host player good public relations, it also bodes well on the Cubs as an organisation. The Cubs are also extremely active in the Chicago community and know that in order to gain fan support, you need to be a part of people’s every day lives.

It’s not just about the profit margins or how many HRs your star player can hit for the Cubs. They take the time to make a difference in people’s lives using their advantages to benefit those less fortunate.It’s something that every sports team should do.

It makes me damned proud to wear the red C on my cap every time I leave my front door.

 

Tags: 2012 Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs

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