I don’t care if you like baseball or the Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo, Cubs’ first-baseman, is ONE classy guy! Rizzo recently sent a letter of support to Parker Hopkins of Muscatine, Iowa, who was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, two months before his second birthday.
Rizzo’s very familiar with a thing or two about surviving cancer, being a survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma himself. In a society where recent athletes like Colin Kaepernick show signs of selfish and disrespect, it’s nice to know there are still REAL heroes, like Cubs first-baseman, Anthony Rizzo – a great model for our next generation.
After receiving their son’s diagnosis, Parker’s parents reached out to Rizzo. The All-Star first baseman took it upon himself to send Parker a personal letter of encouragement. The letter reflected insight on Rizzo’s own personal experience and support from battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008.
Here’s the letter and transcript:
You may not know this but your parents, [sic] recently reached out to me to tell me about your battle with cancer. They also told me that you have fought this battle with tremendous courage.
Well I’m not sure if you know my story, but when I was 18, and in my first year of professional baseball, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This was the scariest time of my life. I too had to face this tough time in my life with courage. All that I can say that every day I stayed as positive as possible so that everyone around me, especially my family, did not worry about how I was feeling. I believe that by staying positive, I actually felt better and ultimately won my battle against cancer. I know that you too can do the same.
I am sending you a $2,500 donation to help your family through this difficult time. We hope that this helps lighten the load on your family and can help you all concentrate on the important things.
Stay Strong, Dream Big!
WOW! Talk about a tear jerker! If that doesn’t hit you, I don’t know what will. Here’s a little 2-year-old boy from Muscatine, Iowa struggling for his life against cancer and All-Star Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo reaches out to him. Talk about CLASS!
Rizzo was diagnosed in April 2008 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He underwent 6 months of chemotherapy before going into remission in September of 2008. His doctor told him he “could live a normal life”. In January of 2012, Rizzo was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Chicago Cubs. Since that time Anthony Rizzo has been bestowed with several honors for his service to the community.
In 2013 Rizzo was a Cubs’ finalist for the National Heart and Hustle Award. The Heart & Hustle Award is given out annually by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) to a current player who not only excels on the field, but also “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.” You can only be nominated for the award by MLB alumni and the winner is selected via a letter ballot by the members of the MLBPAA.
In addition, in 2013 Rizzo was a Cubs’ finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award given to a MLB player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team“. The award is named after Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente and is voted on by baseball fans and members of the media.
In 2014 Rizzo was the youngest player to receive the Branch Rickey Award for being a “strong role model for young people“. The Branch Rickey Award is given annually to an individual in Major League Baseball (MLB) in recognition of his exceptional community service. The award is named after former player Branch Rickey, who broke the major league color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson. Each year the MLB team nominates one individual who best exemplifies the Rotary Club motto: “Service above Self” and is voted on by media, previous winners of the award and Rotary district governors in MLB cities.
Wait! There’s more.
Anthony Rizzo along with his family established in 2012 the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. Here’s the mission statement from their website:
The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit 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.
Rizzo is AMAZING! Anyone with any character would be happy to receive just one of these awards, let alone set up their own foundation to help children and families fight cancer. Receiving all of these awards say a lot about Anthony Rizzo. There could not be a better role model for 2-year-old Parker exemplifying baseball, service and character than Cubs first-baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo has been reaching out to families and cancer patients since his own diagnosis in 2012. Every year he visits kids at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and he’s made numerous other donations and sent other letters to patients dealing with cancer diagnoses as well. What a special guy!
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see more celebrities and professional athletes doing more things like Rizzo? Wouldn’t it also be nice instead of all the other trash that the MSM likes to publish that we actually HEARD MORE ABOUT THESE kinds of actions by the real heroes in society, unlike Colin Kaepernick or Beyonce? Well, I guess a girl can still hope and dream.
Speaking of hope, something tells me out of all the awards that Anthony Rizzo has received THIS letter is probably one of the MOST treasured. Rizzo is certainly my hero!
“High Fives” to Anthony Rizzo not only for the man he has become but the hero he is in all the hearts and families, like the Hopkins who are battling cancer. We could certainly use more heroes like Rizzo in our society. Anthony Rizzo is not only an All-Star hitting home runs for the Chicago Cubs, but he’s hitting home runs against cancer too! ……..God Bless Anthony Rizzo!