Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez throws a pitch during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park (Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The hopes and dreams of the Washington Nationals season might be fading away but one player is not letting that deter him off the diamond.
Gio Gonzalez is busy making the hopes and dreams of others come true. Wins, losses, E.R.A., none of it matters at the Gio Gonzalez Foundation Baseball Camp.
"I never had much to give. Now that I have an opportunity to give back, anything I can, I mean, this is what we call priceless," said Gonzalez about the GIO Foundation, or Giving Individuals Opportunities. The foundation helps families and children in need of medical assistance as they battle life-challenging health issues.
It was a vision born out of heartbreak. Gonzalez explained, "It was a friend of the family who came up to me and asked me, 'listen, we have a friend of ours that, you know, is in real dire need of medical assistance.'"
Gonzalez and his friend John Jay of the St. Louis Cardinals scrambled to raise money. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.
"I recently found out this off-season she had passed away. It was all due to the fact she did not have enough funding. Her last words to me were 'you will always be my guardian angel.' And to hear that and to know that was some of her last words, it moved you inside. It just gives you goose bumps and makes you teary eyed," Gonzalez shared.
It's one of the reasons that why on a hot, steamy morning just hours after a game, he puts on the smile for what's really important to him.
"I've always been the person that wants to put a smile on kids' faces," said Gonzalez.
LEARN MORE: Gio Gonzalez Foundation (http://www.giofoundation.org/)
The Gio Gonzalez Foundation and Bethesda Big Train hosted the inaugural Gio Gonzalez Foundation Baseball Camp for underprivileged kids. It benefitted The Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex at Children's National Medical Center.
"It provided a teaching moment for me because I got to tell the kids, 'hey, we're doing this for a good cause.' I got to explain a little bit about diabetes," Gonzalez said.
Gio's goal simple is simple: keep these kids running, throwing, hitting, smiling and if ever there's a day they can't because of illness, the foundation might be there to help. At the end of the day someone needs a guardian angel.
The Gio Foundation raised $10,000 during his camp. The money goes to the Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex at the Children's National Medical Center.