Chicago Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo, 28, and his Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation donated $3.5 million to the cancer center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Rizzo is a cancer survivor himself. He fought Hodgkin lymphoma at 18 years old, and went through six rounds of chemotherapy.

Because he knows what it’s like to be a child with a deadly disease, he wanted to contribute to Lurie Children’s Hospital in a huge way.

The money will go toward research for a cure, and helping families who are affected by childhood cancer.

On Tuesday, Rizzo, his parents and his fiancée cut the ribbon to the revamped Anthony Rizzo Waiting Room on the 18th floor of the hospital.

“This means a lot to me,” Rizzo said with tears in his eyes. “I remember sitting with my mom saying we’re gonna do this 10 years ago. This is just a little step to our mission. To be able to give back and do this type of work is so much bigger than winning the World Series or doing anything on the baseball field just because my family’s been through it and there are so many families here going through it. This is as real as it gets in life. Today’s a big day for our family, our foundation, but the mission isn’t over. We want to continue to grow as a foundation and this is an amazing step to what we’re doing.”

Here’s more on Rizzo from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Rizzo calls the hospital his “home way from home” because he visits patients so often.

Between him and J.J. Watt, it’s easy to see why their respective cities love them so much, and it’s not for their play on the gridiron or diamond.