PITTSBURGH — April 23, 2014 — The Mario Lemieux Foundation announced today they are offering a “Healing Power of Playrooms” Bracelet to benefit Austin’s Playroom Project.  The handmade bracelet, created by Rachel’s Cure by Design, features custom black and white beads with silver charms, including a special “hand and glove” Mario Lemieux Foundation charm.  Bracelets are available at www.mariolemieux.org for a limited time only.

Rachel’s Cure by Design was created by Rachel Tobin after learning of her diagnosis with T1D (type 1 diabetes) in 2005 at age 12. She began designing and selling a unique collection of handmade beaded jewelry to donate a portion of proceeds to JDRF in support of research for a cure. Today, Rachel’s Cure By Design is a thriving social entrepreneurship located in Pittsburgh that offers more than 160 unique styles of high-quality, glass, gem, leather and beaded bracelets and other jewelry.  

Austin’s Playroom Project was created as a result of Nathalie and Mario Lemieux’s personal experience while caring for their infant son, Austin.  In 1996, Austin was born profoundly premature and spent 71 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  While they were caring for Austin, there was nothing to engage his sisters, who were both toddlers at the time.  It was then Mario and Nathalie realized a need for playrooms and began their plan to establish Austin’s Playroom Project.

Austin’s Playrooms are created to give kids a chance to be kids during an otherwise stressful time.  The playrooms allow families the ability to escape the burden of difficult or extended medical situations and focus on health and healing.

The Mario Lemieux Foundation was created in 1993 after hockey legend and NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux survived Hodgkin’s disease.  The Lemieux Foundation is a 501(c)3  organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient care, as well as Austin’s Playroom Project.