Student Visionaries of the Year Charlotte

Madeleine Rizzo | Team Checkmate Cancer

Maddie's Student Visionaries of the Year Fundraiser

Dec 16, 2023

Student Visionaries for Team Checkmate Cancer,
Maddie Rizzo, Devin Bell, and James Ter Poorten

Visionaries look to the future—and see infinite possibility.
They challenge the status quo—and make the impossible possible.
They boldly imagine a better world – and lead the charge to create it.

I have had the honor to grow up around a true visionary: my mother. My mom was a leader in the way that she did not only show passionate bravery in her battle against blood cancer, but in the way that she hoped for a better world for her children. She taught me to love others, be authentically myself, and how to stand tall in a world that can be cruel. The world had truly been vicious to her, dealing out cards of twos rather than aces or kings. She took on rounds of chemo only for it to come back in a sucker punch, losing muscle and hair, but never spirit and love. She taught me that life is beautiful, even if you are sitting in a hospital bed or wheelchair. She taught me that being a visionary is to be a leader for which I can only hope that I have half of the passion and courage she did. 

My mother, Meghan Rizzo, and my two sisters, Carys and Noelle.

I am a visionary. I am a visionary for my family and the people affected by the

hurricane that is cancer. I am a visionary for my two sisters that my mother had sadly left; I hope they can see a world without cancer. I am a visionary for the patients in hospital beds, the loved ones sitting outside the patient’s room, and the ones who reminisce over loved ones taken too soon. 

I have a vision of a world without cancer, but I need your help.

This year, I’m proud to be a part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Student Visionaries of the Year Campaign, working to raise as much as possible for LLS’s mission.

 As a global leader in the fight against blood cancer, LLS:

  • Funds cutting-edge research leading to breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine that are improving and saving the lives of patients

  • Provides free education and support for blood cancer patients and families, including personalized, one-on-one support, assistance with identifying and enrolling in clinical trials, and more.

  • Mobilizes thousands of advocates to drive policy changes that accelerate the development of new cancer treatments and break down barriers to care.

My sister, Noelle Rizzo, and I.

Please consider joining this fight by making a donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible. Please visit my website often and tell friends who would also like to donate!

Thanks to your support, our efforts will help ensure this generation is the last to see cancer.

 On behalf of my mother, sisters, aunt (her twin sister and my role model), and blood cancer patients, and myself thank you!

For more information about LLS, please visit




  • Robbie Carnaggio

    Go Maddie!! You are doing a wonderful thing to help others!

  • Truist Bank

    From Truist and the Hondros Family!

  • Julie Blacklock

    You are amazing, Maddie. Sending you lots of love.

  • liz and mike fucci

    Maddie- congratulations for being part of this tremendous cause.... liz and mike fucci

  • Megan Collard

    Your mom would be so proud Maddie!


    Your mom is smiling down Maddie. So proud of you! xoxoxox

  • Leigh Ann Hochman

    Miss Meg every day, this would make her so proud.

  • Edward Patterson

    Go Maddie! Love Auntie !

  • Cathleen Callinan

    Hope you reach your fundraising goal for this worthy cause.

  • Susan Hartman

    Best of luck, Maddie!

  • Paula Birmingham

    Meghan, I actually met your mom when she visited the open house I was holding at my listing on Balmore Pines. And that house happens to be the one your parents decided to purchase because your mom liked it so much! I knew the day I met her that she was a warrior who loved her family. I'm honored to contribute to your campaign and wish you much success. No question Mom would be so proud of you.

  • Melissa Bamford

    Tim Bamford

  • Tanya Lam

    Go Maddie!

  • Meg Shea

    Your mom fought so hard…her battle was epic. I lost my sister to AML in 1998. I remember her fight too. This donation is to help all those battling today. God bless!

  • Nissa Paul

    Maddie, you continue to amaze but, then again, you are your Mother's daughter!

  • Edward Shea

    Best of luck with your mission Maddie!

  • Carol & Don Herring

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother.

  • Wendy Benz

    You are quite the visionary and I am donating you and your teammates. I could not be more proud of the wonderful young lady you have grown into, Maddie! Now that I am on my own cancer journey, I appreciate young visionaries like you fundraising to help the medical community continue to improve the fight against cancer. Thank you for all you do to bring joy and vision to each and every day!! Love

  • Liz McNulty

    We love you Maddie!

  • Karen McGinley

    Go Maddie!! From Shirley's neighbor Karen in Brielle.

  • Modern Salon & Spa

    Good luck Maddie! Thank you again for sharing your story with us and for reaching out. Love this!

  • Aimee Smith

    Go get it coz!

  • Carolyn Riccardi

    With Love in my Cousin's memory!

  • Ellen Gannon

    Keep up the good work Maddie.

  • Erin & Tim Moran

    Maddie - your mom would be so proud of you!!

  • Allison Romei

    In honor of Meg, Maddie I am so proud of you!

  • Joy Evans

    You are honoring your Mother in a way that will affect the lives of many. Well done.

  • Rachel Caldwell

    Madeline Rizzo

  • Louis & Liz Foreman

    Glad to support your mission!

  • Dimitri and Tina Apostolopoulos

    Wishing you much luck with your campaign!

  • Joan Ankrom

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Thanks for inviting your Cannon family to be a part of this!

  • Vanessa Breese

    So impressed by your dedication, Maddie, you are truly a visionary!

  • Michele Datta

    Your Mom would be proud.

  • Ed & Barbara Rosar

    Maddie you are awesome. Your Mom would be so proud. Congratulations!

  • McGibbon


  • Lance Lisa Addison & Jack Carlyle

    This is such a great cause. So happy I was able to meet your mom. Lance, Lisa, Addison & Jack.

  • Larry and Suzun McCrary

    Thank you for your kind hearted work here Maddie. Sadly my brother died of Lymphoma 5 years ago but I feel there is a good chance to cure this cancer in the near future. You are an inspiration to your generation!

  • The Davidson Center

    Good luck with all your fund raising!!!

  • Tom & Gail Balousek

    Love your spirit and leadership with this important project. Good luck to you and "Team Checkmate Cancer" reaching all of your fundraiser goals. You have a wonderful future ahead of you. Tom & Gail Balousek

  • The Bracht Family

    Best of luck Maddie!

  • Katherine fagan

    Great job Maddie! Matthew was my daughter 26 yr. old boyfriend. He passed 20 years ago this Jan. Matthew was in the process of stem cell therapy for his Lymphoma. Thank you for your dedication to fight cancer.

  • Joseph Rizzo

    We are all so proud of you! Love you! Uncle Joey

  • Calabrase family

    Madeleine- We are very happy to contribute in a small way and proud of you in a big way… keep it rolling!

  • Nikolio

    Maddie, I'm impressed. You've created a beautiful campaign that shows how kind and warm you are. I have your mom in my heart forever.

  • The George Family

    Beautiful mission you are on, I can tell you have so much purpose! Keep shining bright.

  • Stroll Spring Lake

    “God Bless St. Meg” - Peter Coppola

  • The Higbea Family

    Love the work that you are doing!

  • Lauren Lipari

    Maddie, you're doing such amazing work, and I know your family couldn't be prouder. Keep shining like the bright light you are and making the world a better place. Love, Lauren & Greg Lipari

  • Colleen Rosar

    🤍??🤍 So proud of you Maddie!!

  • Thomas & Gayle Larson

    Maddie, you are inspirational!

  • C2C Designs

    Truly inspiring organization! Together, we can continue to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.

  • Anonymous

    I am Sure your mom RIP is so proud of you! Bravo!

  • Brent & Susan King

    Happy to support such a great effort and cause.

  • Michael Clancy

    Way to go Maddie!

  • Ron and Heidi Uszenski

    I hope you reach your goal. You are an inspiration Maddie!!

  • Patrick Tully & Erin Fitzsimmons

    Go Maddie!

  • David and Paula Jackson

    In a world where you could have gone in a different direction, we admire your courage and commitment. We are proud to be a small part of your goal to honor and love your mother! David and Paula Jackson

  • Kate & Mike Rizzo

    Maddie, your determination and loving spirit reminds us so much of your mom. She is proud of you and so are we! Love you!! Aunt Kate and Uncle Mike

  • Colleen Ryan Marion

    I am so impressed with all of the work you are doing in honor of your mom. She was a wonderful person!

  • Pralong Family

    Thank you for sharing your story Maddie and all the very best for your fundraiser!

  • Christina Walters


  • brent Taylor


  • Drew Corgan


  • Kim and Shomeet Patel


  • Gokce Akin Aras


  • Susan Barner


  • winestore. Lake Norman

    Great job, Maddie. Good luck reaching your goal!

  • Jennifer McDonald


  • Jill A


  • Chris Houska


  • Ryan Dukes


  • The Goodwine Family

    Super proud of you Maddie! You are a visionary!!! I had the honor of meeting your mom during the Teddy Bear picnic when Carys was in JK. So happy I did and lucky to form bonds with your family! Pulling for you!!!

  • Marla Toups


  • Robyn Needham

    For Maddie

  • Anonymous

    Good luck hitting your goal.

  • Jessica Bell

    Tune out cancer!

  • Andrea Gravina

    So happy to do this together

  • Kim Turner

    Day on the lake. Thanks guys! Great event!

  • Simona Aguilera


  • Robyn Needham

    For Maddie

  • Hayden Hilke

    Let's goooo, Maddie! Way to make a difference!

  • Anonymous

    God bless you, Maddie, for doing “good” out of what (I’m sure) has been devastating to your family. I know your mom is proud of you!!!

  • Hayes Woollen


  • Kim & Mark Chambers

    Maddie, I applaud your work and fundraising efforts in memory of your mom, and to help all those affected by cancer. - Love, Kim

  • Fran Rizzo

    This is a wonderful tribute to your mom, Maddie! Fran and Charlie Rizzo

  • Velva Woollen


  • Leslie Trevathan


  • Sydney Langford

    Great work, Maddie! Love, Sydney Langford and family.

  • Emily Humann

    Go Maddie!!

  • Jamie Werkman


  • Emily Kingsley


  • Sue Flynn

    The memory of your mom lives on with us every day.

  • Michelle St John

    BOULDERCREST Thank you Maddie, from the bottom of my heart! I am living with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) and I appreciate all you are doing!! You truly are a Visionary and a Very Bright Light shining and providing hope for so many!!!

  • Anne Shaw

    Good work, Maddie! Love, Anne Shaw

  • Anonymous

    Way to go Maddie !

  • Elaine Hughes

    What a beautiful thing you are doing to honor your Mom. Keep shining your light. I am cheering you on through your biggest cheerleaders...Robbie and Lilly Carnaggio!

  • Kevin Cappelmann


  • Robard Corporation

    Robard Corporation is honored to provide a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of Meghan Rizzo. The donation we are providing is in acknowledgment and awareness that Dr. Claudia Huegel provided to us for this great cause. Robard Corporation Jay Satinsky

  • Ashley Oliver


  • AnnMarie Facciolini

    Wishing you luck in reaching your goal.

  • Krista Patterson


  • Jegede Family

    Keep up the good work.

  • Chantal and Denis Bilodeau

    You are doing great work for a great cause. Best of luck!

  • Ginger and Larry Griffin

    Wonderful work you're doing!

  • Kerry Patterson & family

    So proud of you and your fundraising, keeping mom's memory and love alive for all to share. Love and Hugs! Patterson Family

  • Brian Helfrich

    Keep up the impressive work!

  • Kris Hermance

    Not only was your mom a babysitter for our kids but a cheerleader when my husband was receiving his bone marrow transplant. I will never forget your dear mother. In loving memory of your mom and my beloved husband, Ronald E. Hermance,Jr.

  • Krissy Ryan

    Maddie, What a great cause and your mother would be so proud of you. Her legacy lives on in each of you.

  • Erika Gerzsenyi

    Keep up the great work, Maddie!

  • Mike and Rona Abramow

    Towards a cure

  • The Barodia Family

    Keep up the great work!

  • Nancy Lenaghsb

    In honor of Meghan Riizzo

  • The Stamer Family

    You truly are a visionary! All the best!

  • Joan Dilsizian

    God bless you

  • Bottle Shop of Spring Lake

    Great work Maddie and your team!

  • Jack Elbrecht

    In honor of a strong and charismatic woman.

  • April Ballone

    Always happy to support Meghan's family as they continue to fight hard to tackle this disease.

  • Laura G

    For all those that have lost and continue to fight! Thank you for being a leader and visionary!

  • Tara Heal


  • Kathy and Chuck Casagrande

    Maddie ,you make your mom so proud of the amazing young woman you are !

  • Julie Brady

    Wishing you the best of luck reaching your goal Maddie.

  • Elle Riva

    You are a great leader, just like your Mom.❤️

  • Michael and Liz fucci

    Maddie - you are a wonderful young woman - your mom is smiling down q Mike and Liz fucci

  • Medimorphosis Medical Weight Loss

    Congrats Maddie! Hope you raise a ton of money!

  • TruMotion Physical Therapy

    Happy to contribute to a great cause!

  • Carla Moyer

    So proud of you!

  • Meghan Frost

    In loving memory of Meghan.

  • Jenifer Dunn

    Thank you for all you are doing!!

  • Bridget McGreal Chila

    A mother never stops loving her child. If your eyes are open you will see many gifts of her presence. Sending you love!

  • Leslie LaVerda

    In memory of Meghan Rizzo. Dr. Huegels fund raising and awareness event.

  • Adele Moore

    In honor of Meg Rizzo’s valiant journey

  • Carla D’Acierno

    With L❤️VE…

  • The Davis Family

    Amazing work Maddie! Your mom is beaming with pride!

  • The Lake Famliy

    Great work Maddie!!

  • Colleen Gilroy Furniss

    Maddie - I know your mom is smiling down and beyond proud that you’re continuing to fight for this incredibly important cause. A true visionary and an inspiration for many people!

  • David Rizzo

    so proud of you Maddie, Love Dad

  • Irene and Leo Hurley

    Your Mom is so very proud of you, Maddie. May God bless you always for your generous heart and soul. 💕

  • Laure Bokas


  • Mary Gossart

    Your grandmother, Carolyn, is a friend from college. An amazing woman like Maddie

  • Anonymous

    Maddie - you are an inspiration to me. What a great job you have done raising awareness. Thank you!

  • Cynthia Baumgartner

    Richard lost his battle with multiple myeloma. We lost a husband, a father a grandfather and friend! He is missed in so many ways.

Contact us by email or call 888.LLS.7177.