"You see so many times where people get gut-checked or you're reminded of tragedies," he says. "Seeing someone who's not as fortunate as people who walk around every day, that sort of thing gets overlooked a lot until you get reminded or reality-checked yourself."
Like finding yourself wearing a hospital gown and hearing a doctor you've never met before tell you that baseball will have to wait until you deal with a much bigger foe first.
"Little things," Rizzo says. "Family and friends. That's what I'm thankful for."
So many of them will be out there with Rizzo on Dec. 9 at his inaugural event. Organizers are expecting somewhere between 700 and 1,000 walkers, early pledges having already exceeded $40,000.
"It's awesome," Rizzo says. "We're trying to make this as big as possible. Hopefully in years to come it doubles, triples, just keeps expanding."
Down the road he'd like to add a golf tournament, maybe hold a second offseason event in Chicago.
Rizzo's parents have been instrumental in taking this idea from concept to reality.
It was his father, a manager for a security system company, who told him to stay humble no matter what blessings may come his way.
"If I get five hits in a game or don't get any hits, always be the same person," Rizzo says. "My dad has always been the same person. Even growing up, when he coached me in Little League or rec soccer or football, win or lose, he was always happy."
His mother, a bartender at Chops Lobster Bar in Boca Raton, shared many of those same lessons while insisting her children be "respectful and honest" in all situations.
"When you can't get something right then and there, keep pushing for it," Laurie Rizzo would tell her son. "Everything happens for a reason."
A little over four years after completing his six-month chemotherapy, one of Parkland's own is getting set to headline a cancer research event in his hometown.
That's Anthony Rizzo.
Every single day.