By: Matt Rothman
World Series champion Anthony Rizzo returns to Parkland for his foundation’s Sixth Annual Walk off for Cancer and registration is now open for the December event.
Despite the rain last year, it was a still a sell-out event, raising over $550,000 for several charities.
“We are excited for the Sixth Annual Walk-Off for Cancer said Abby Suarez, Executive Director of the Anthony Rizzo Foundation. The support of the community has been instrumental in the success of the event.”
Rizzo, from Parkland and a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds the annual charity walk to raise money for his foundation, whose mission is to raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease.
Rizzo knows firsthand what individuals and families dealing with cancer go through. Back in 2008, at the age of 18, he was beginning his career as a professional baseball player in Greenville, SC when his life came to an abrupt halt. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had to go through six months of chemotherapy.
With the help of his family, friends and The Boston Red Sox Organization, on September 2, 2008, his doctor gave him the great news; he was in remission.This was a tough time for his family as his grandmother was also battling breast cancer at the same time. Rizzo believed that no matter how difficult fighting cancer was, it was even more difficult for his family
Rizzo still had six weeks left of treatment and follow up testing, but finally, on November 18, 2008, his doctor told him that he could live a normal life. At that point, he said he knew that he wanted to become a role model to help cancer patients and their families. and in 2012, The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation was founded.
This year’s annual walk off for cancer is set for December 3rd, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
Spots are limited for the 5K walk which begins at Pine Trails Park in Parkland. Each participant will be given a Walk-Off for Cancer T-shirt, a custom Nike drawstring bag and a Chicago Cubs hat. Incentives will also be given to the group that raises the most money and a special honor will be given to them before the walk begins. Prizes range from signed baseballs and baseball bats to tickets for a future Chicago Cubs game.
All funds raised go to Hope 44 programs at the University of Miami, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Cancer research as well as providing financial grants to pediatric cancer families.
To register go to: Sixth Annual Walk-Off for Cancer
Sharon Aron Baron contributed to this story.
Matt Rothman, is a senior Journalism major at Florida Gulf Coast University. Originally from Long Island, he moved to Parkland shortly after high school. Matt currently is the assistant sports editor for his school paper, eaglenews.com and covers men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball, and softball. His goal is to travel to every Major League Baseball stadium, and has been to multiple US Open finals. He hopes to one day to be a beat writer for a professional team.