By: Sharon Aron Baron
World Series champion Anthony Rizzo returns to Parkland for his foundation’s Seventh Annual Walk off for Cancer, Last year, the sell-out event, raised over over $950,000 for several charities by over 1,500 participants.
The former Parkland resident and a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds the annual charity walk 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 Sunday, December 2, 2018.
Anthony Rizzo will be attending the walk which will begin at Pine Trails Park in Parkland. Included at the event will be entertainment and refreshments from local merchants, raffle prizes and special guest appearances from local dignitaries and celebrities. 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 net proceeds will benefit the JoeDiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and direct grants will go to families battling cancer.
Registration Opens: 7:30 a.m.
Event Begins: 8:30 a.m.
Walk Begins: 9:00 a.m.
To register go to: Walk-Off for Cancer (May be closed close to event date)
Matt Rothman contributed to this story.