Chicago Cubs first-baseman Anthony Rizzo recently wrote a letter to encourage and comfort an Iowa toddler, Parker Hopkins, who is battling cancer.
Rizzo’s letter was part of Major League Baseball's (MLB) participation in Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Hopkins first received his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia last month, just before he celebrated his second birthday. Hopkins' parents contacted Rizzo, who survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 18, when he first entered the big leagues.
“I, too, had to face this tough time in my life with courage,” Rizzo told Hopkins in his letter. “All that I can say (is) that every day, I stayed as positive as possible so that everyone around me, especially my family, did not worry about how I was feeling. I believe that by staying positive, I actually felt better and ultimately won my battle against cancer. I know that you, too, can do the same.”
In recognition of Children’s Cancer Awareness Month, MLB is hosting events at all of its ballparks this month and declared Sept. 2 Children’s Cancer Awareness Day around the league to increase awareness of childhood cancers.
"Through our league-wide effort, we will join Stand Up to Cancer and many organizations dedicated to this fight in a unified demonstration of our sport's commitment to ending childhood cancer,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said.
Chicago Cubs star, cancer survivor, writes letter to young patient