Who We Are
The Mario Lemieux Foundation is dedicated to cancer research and patient care. Since inception, we’ve raised nearly $25M for our programs and built 36 Austin’s Playrooms for children and families in challenging medical situations. We strive each day to give others a chance to win!
The Mario Lemieux Foundation’s ultimate goal is a cure for cancer. Our commitment is to blood cancer research and patient care. We have ongoing projects at the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and at the Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center for Children and Young Adults at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
What would you do if you had three children: two well kids and one in the hospital with a threatening medical condition? That’s the experience Mario and Nathalie had with the birth of their son Austin, in 1996. At that time, they had two toddlers under the age of three, with a newborn that spent 71 days in the NICU. It was after this personal experience that Mario and Nathalie recognized the need to help other young families facing challenging situations in medical facilities, and the idea for Austin’s Playrooms was born.
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Gifted to Cancer Research and Patient Care
Austin’s Playrooms Serving Children and Families
of Every Dollar Directly Supports Foundation Programs
In 1993, hockey legend Mario Lemieux was enjoying the greatest season of his NHL career. Then he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. The experience opened his eyes to how fragile life can be, so Mario worked to create the Mario Lemieux Foundation to help others in their battle with this terrible disease. Mario is now 24 years cancer free, and he devotes much of his time to assisting those who are not as fortunate.
Mario and his wife, Nathalie, have been blessed with four healthy children, but their experience with their son, Austin, impacted their lives deeply and led to an expansion of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Austin was born profoundly premature and spent 71 days in the NICU. It was then that Mario and Nathalie decided to create playrooms in medical facilities to help ease the burden of hospital stays for children and families.