By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Anthony Rizzo Foundation announced a one-million-dollar dollar gift to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital of Hollywood.
The gift will be donated through two endowments; the Hope 44 Endowed Fund and the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Child Life Endowed Fund.
The Hope 44 Endowed Fund will provide grants on a case-by-case basis for families facing financial hardship due to unexpected needs resulting from a child’s treatment for cancer. The fund will enable oncology social workers to immediately assess a family’s need for assistance, without restrictions on a patient’s age or stage in diagnosis or the need for a formal application.
The second endowment, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Child Life Endowed Fund, will provide the financial resources for a full-time Oncology Child Life specialist. These integral members of a patient’s healthcare team employ a variety of methods to reduce anxiety and normalize the hospital experience for both patients and families. Child Life specialist positions are funded entirely by philanthropy.
Back in 2008, at the age of 18, Parkland resident and Marjory Stoneman graduate, Anthony Rizzo was starting his career as a professional baseball player when his life came to an abrupt halt. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had to go through six months of chemotherapy.
Rizzo is now a World Series champion with the Chicago Cubs, and the foundation named after him was created eight years ago as a dream to help families in their darkest days and make a positive impact on the pediatric cancer community.
“We are so grateful that more oncology patients have access to child life specialists to cope with the emotional stress that comes along with cancer treatment,” said the Rizzo family. “Because of your generosity, families can focus on their child’s care instead of their bills.”
Anthony Rizzo’s 8th Annual Walk-Off for cancer takes place in Parkland on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
Anthony Rizzo will be attending the walk, which will begin at Pine Trails Park in Parkland. Net proceeds will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and direct grants to families battling cancer.