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Rizzo makes donation to cancer center

Cubs first baseman treated for disease at University of Miami facility

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a seven-year cancer survivor, recently made a gift of $250,000 to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

He raised the money through fundraisers coordinated by the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. The hospital said the money will be used to support the research of Dr. Izidore Lossos, director of the lymphoma program. The hospital announced the waiting room on the second floor of a clinic at Sylvester will be named the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Hematology Oncology Waiting Room.

"Coming here for the past seven years, we have grown an appreciation for what the staff, the nurses, and the doctors do along the way that help make it the best possible experience," Rizzo said in a release posted on the hospital website. "The relationships we've made here, with Dr. Lossos and all of the nurses, have been really great."

Lossos said the donation was much appreciated but said it was more important to see Rizzo go from a teenager with cancer to playing baseball again.

Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma at 18 while a Minor Leaguer in the Red Sox system. He returned to Florida and received treatment at Sylvester. After six months of chemotherapy, he was in remission. Last season, Rizzo, 25, was elected to his first All-Star team and finished with a .286 average, 32 home runs and 78 RBIs.

Rizzo's foundation has hosted three "Walk-Offs for Cancer" in his hometown of Parkland, Fla., as well as fundraisers in Chicago. In January, the foundation held its first "Laugh-Off for Cancer" comedy event and raised more than $100,000.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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