CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital on Tuesday.
The ceremony was to commemorate The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation's $3.5 million contribution to Lurie Children's back in May.
A cancer survivor himself, Rizzo regularly visits with kids at Lurie Children's and understands the financial hardships many families encounter when paying for treatment.
"When I was sick, I always saw my parents going through way more than I was... it's not easy," said Rizzo at the ceremony. "To be able to directly help families pay bills is one of our main goals."
An emotional Rizzo went on to say, "To be able to give back and do this type of work is so much bigger than winning the World Series and doing anything on a baseball field, just because my families been through it, and so many families have been through it."
In recognition of Rizzo's donation, the hospital's 18th floor waiting room has been named "The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Waiting Room."
— A. Rizzo Foundation (@RizzoFoundation) August 29, 2017
The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation has created two endowed funds, one of which provides grants on a case-by-case basis for families facing financial hardships due to unexpected needs resulting from a child's treatment for cancer. The other fund will provide support for two oncology Child Life specialists.
“I believe that an individual does not battle cancer alone, his or her entire family does. That’s why we’ve designated this money to go directly to help families on the front lines," Rizzo said in a statement.
Each year, Lurie Children's helps serve over 300 newly diagnosed patients and the Foundation's gift will undoubtedly provide much-needed financial support to generations of families and children.
— Nancy Loo (@NancyLoo) August 29, 2017