This is a cancer survivor story of Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester.
The Chicago Cubs overcame incredible odds in early November of 2016, winning the World Series after fighting back from a 3-1 series deficit, one of the few teams ever to accomplish such a feat.
The incredible series comeback was only suitable for a team with players who had also overcome some incredible challenges in their lives. Jon Lester, a starting pitcher for the Cubs, and Anthony Rizzo, the starting first baseman, were both diagnosed with cancer as young men and beat it.
Rizzo in particular had a considerable influence on the 2016 team and has become a crucial part of the organization since his arrival in 2012 with his incredible work ethic and positive influence on the entire team.
The Chicago Cubs call Anthony Rizzo the heart of their 2016 world series winning team and players constantly refer to him as a young leader and one of the most-kind hearted and generous players on the team.
They Both Beat Cancer
Rizzo’s fight with cancer forced him to grow up fast at a young age and gave him a unique perspective on life. At the young age of 17, Anthony Rizzo was drafted by the Boston Red Sox straight out of high school.
Unfortunately, soon afterward he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 18. The diagnosis was a shock to Rizzo and his family and threw a wrench in his plans of becoming a major league baseball player.
In spite of the diagnosis, Rizzo had a positive mentality throughout his chemotherapy and never gave up the hope that he would be able to play baseball professionally.
During his 6 months of chemotherapy he also dealt with his grandmother’s battle with cancer which further added to his challenges. Rizzo fought to stay strong not just for himself but for his family as well, and soon after his diagnosis on September 2, 2008 he was declared cancer free.
Jon Lester was also diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006 at the age of 22 and successfully overcame his cancer in 2007.
Lester was traded to the Cubs in 2015 and since his arrival he has bonded with Rizzo as a result of their shared background and interest in cancer research charities.
Although many accomplishments have been made with cancer research in the past few decades, the fight for a cure continues. Both of the Cubs players are committed to the fight and remain highly involved in charity initiatives.
Lester and Rizzo were both a huge part of the historic 2016 World Series winning team, and they are widely known for being among the best players in baseball at their respective positions.
Most importantly, both players have helped to raise millions of dollars for cancer and continue to be major inspirations for baseball fans, young people, and those who are suffering from chronic illness throughout the world.