On June 2, 2012, Reid Lee Rizzo passed away in his sleep while competing in the Ohio Valley Summer Collegiate League in Madisonville, KY at 21 years old. Reid was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and is the proud son of Tim & Lisa, and big brother to his sister, Nicole. Reid was the starting SS for Lake Erie College (NCAA DII) and had just arrived in Madisonville that week for the start of the season. Reid was a 2010 graduate of La Salle High School and a 4 year starter on the baseball team. At 3 months of age, Reid was diagnosed with a heart condition called Cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy (KAR-de-o-mi-OP-ah-thee) refers to diseases of the heart muscle. In cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick, or rigid and the muscle tissue in the heart is replaced with scar tissue.
At the time of his diagnosis, doctors told the Rizzo family that Reid would never be able to run, ride a bike or even play sports. Coming from a very athletic family (Reid’s father Tim was a starting SS @ Xavier Univ.) this was a crushing blow. Reid defied the odds of his doctors and led a very normal childhood. He played baseball, football, basketball & hockey as a child. Reid did all of this with little to no one outside of his immediate family aware that he was living with his condition. It wasn’t until after Reid passed away that his condition was made public knowledge!
Shortly after Reid’s passing, a few of his former coaches at La Salle High School decided to form a committee and hold a baseball tournament in Reid’s honor. The idea blossomed into the creation of The Reid Rizzo Foundation. The ground swell of support and love that showered Reid and his memory were beyond comprehension. The Reid Rizzo Foundation will hold annual events such as The Reid Rizzo Baseball Classic and the Reid Rizzo Golf Tournament. All proceeds raised from these events will benefit The Reid Rizzo Foundation.
Reid was an unbelievable young man who touched many and with the assistance of the foundation, his legacy will continue to impact lives. Whether at school, on the field or out socially, Reid had the uncanny ability to make everyone feel like they were the most important person around. Having the ability to make people laugh, while showing them you care, while living every moment to its fullest, while competing and leading, epitomized who he was. Theologian Harold Kushner believes that although death may take a person physically from us, it cannot remove him from our souls and his presence will continue to educate and serve as a model to follow. Reid Rizzo, son to two, brother to one, friend to all.
At the time of his passing, Reid was an organ donor. Reid’s heart was donated to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Heart Institute to be utilized for medical research.