Rizzo's 'Walk off for Cancer' helping families fight

Third-annual event to be held on Nov. 16 in Parkland, Fla.

Rizzo's 'Walk off for Cancer' helping families fight

PITTSBURGH -- Laurie Rizzo knows how fortunate her family was to have the Red Sox help when her son, current Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2008. It's why they created the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, and why their "Walk off for Cancer" is so important.

"That's our mission, to make it easier for the families," Laurie said Saturday.

Rizzo will host his third 5K walk on Nov. 16 at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Fla. So far, the event has raised more than $200,000.

"It means a lot to my family, to me, especially being in the city where I'm from," Rizzo said Saturday. "I grew up there, I played recreational sports [at that park], I got in trouble there. As of now, it's where I plan on spending the rest of my life."

Part of the proceeds from the family-friendly walk go to the University of Miami, where Anthony was treated, and the rest goes to families to deal with everything from paying utilities to financing pre-school. One of the families the Rizzo foundation helped was high school teacher Ronit Reoven, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma three months after giving birth to her second son.

She wasn't strong enough to participate in the first walk, but was able to do so last December, joining about 750 people at the event.

"It's good now because we see people coming out of it," Rizzo said. "Two years ago, the people were getting diagnosed. Now some of the people are in remission or cured."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.