Message From Mario
My battle with Hodgkin’s disease in 1993 made me realize how fragile life can be. It also helped me see how fortunate I am to be involved with the greatest game in the world and celebrate three Stanley Cup Championships.
But I know there are many people who are not as fortunate as I am. That is why the Mario Lemieux Foundation continues to be important to me, and why I devote time to raising funds for the Foundation, so we can continue to support important cancer research and other worthy causes.
The Lemieux Foundation is not a short-term project, but a life-long opportunity for me to give hope to patients and families facing what I know is a frightening battle.
Since I created the Lemieux Foundation in 1993, we have awarded several grants, including a five million dollar gift to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to establish the Mario Lemieux Centers for Patient Care and Research. We also provided a three million dollar gift to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to establish the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers, which opened at the beginning of 2013. This is a new opportunity for my Foundation to focus on patient care for those experiencing the same things I did during my journey with Hodgkin’s disease, and I am very pleased to have been a part of creating this new facility. In the following year, through a $2.5 million gift from the foundation, The Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center for Children and Young Adults was opened at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Also, my wife, Nathalie, has established Austin’s Playroom Project, an initiative of the Lemieux Foundation that creates playrooms for children and families in medical facilities. In 1996, our son, Austin, was born profoundly premature and spent 71 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While we were caring for Austin, we noticed there was nothing to engage his sisters, who were both toddlers at the time. This experience inspired Nathalie to create Austin’s Playroom Project, and we are proud to have opened 29 playrooms in medical facilities.
I would like to thank the Foundation’s Board of Directors for its guidance and dedication. The Lemieux Foundation is not a short-term project, but a life-long opportunity for me to give hope to patients and families facing what I know is a frightening battle.
I hope you will decide to assist the Lemieux Foundation now and in the future. There are many opportunities for you to participate, and your contributions will help us move ever closer to our ultimate goal: a cure for cancer.
Founder and Chairman