Hope 44 Fund

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Provides Critical Support for Adolescent and Young Adult Patients with Cancer.

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation recently established the Hope 44 Fund which provides financial assistance to help offset the nonclinical costs of cancer care for adolescent and young adult patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation was founded by Chicago Cubs first baseman (#44) 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—and that an individual does not battle cancer alone, but that the whole family battles it together. The mission of the 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.

Anthony recalled how his journey with cancer led to the creation of his family’s foundation

“Some of you may know my story, but for those of you who are not familiar with it, I’d like to fill you in,” he said. “As a child, it was always my dream to play baseball. In 2007, at the age of 17, I was drafted by the Boston Red Sox organization out of high school. In 2008, at 18 years old, I was beginning a new journey as a professional baseball player in Greenville, South Carolina. I was in Single A ball when my excitement came to an abrupt halt. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was shocked! I went through six months of chemotherapy. This was very tough for my family as my grandmother was also battling breast cancer at the same time. As bad as I felt, I never let on. I knew I had to stay strong for everyone around me. I then realized that no matter how difficult fighting cancer was for me, it was even more difficult for my family. I believe that an individual does not battle cancer, but rather the whole family does.”

Anthony continued, “So with the help of my family and friends, on September 2, 2008, my doctor gave me the great news that I was in remission. I still had six weeks left of treatment and some follow-up testing and then, finally, on November 18, 2008, my doctor told me that I could again begin to live a normal life. At that point, I knew I wanted to become a role model to help cancer patients and their families. Thus, in 2012, The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation was established.”

Through annual cancer walks, cook-offs and comedy shows, the foundation has raised more than $10 million in the last eight years. We at Northwestern Medicine are grateful to the foundation for the creation of the Hope 44 fund, which will provide support to young patients in need at Lurie Cancer Center and help them to have better lives.

To learn more about the HOPE 44 Fund and the work we’re doing to support adolescents and young adults with cancer at Northwestern, email the Lurie Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at NAYAC@northwestern.edu.


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