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Emotional Anthony Rizzo donates $3.5M to children’s hospital (vid)

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo on Tuesday became overcome with emotion during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital.

The ceremony involved the announcement that Rizzo had donated $3.5 million to the Chicago hospital on behalf of his family’s charitable foundation, Hope 44. The moment overwhelmed Rizzo, who himself is a cancer survivor.

“To be able to give back and do this type of work is so much bigger than winning a World Series,” Rizzo said while choking back tears, via the Chicago Sun-Times.

Rizzo was joined by his finacée and parents at the ceremony. And when a mural was unveiled in a waiting room on the hospital’s 18th floor, it proved too much for the Cubs star.

“Wow, this is amazing,” Rizzo said.

Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as an 18-year-old. Then a minor-leaguer with the Boston Red Sox organization, Rizzo underwent six months of chemotherapy before beating cancer, which has been in remission since 2008.

“This means a lot to me,” an emotional Rizzo said of the event and his foundation’s ability to make such a sizable donation.  “I remember sitting with my mom saying we were going to do this 10 years ago. And you know, this is just a little step in our mission.”

Rizzo has donated over $4 million to the hospital. He plans to donate more money and spend more time at the hospital going forward.