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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
$3-Million Commitment for Pediatric Cancer Center at All Children’s

(Tampa FL) The NHL’s leading goal scorer in 2006 -07 has set a new goal for the future – one that will leave a legacy for children battling cancer and blood disorders.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Vinny Lecavalier today announced a $3-million dollar commitment to construction of the new All Children’s Hospital in downtown St. Petersburg, FL – specifically for a state-of-the art facility that will be named the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

“I love kids – and I love the Tampa Bay area. So this is a cause with great meaning to me,” explained Lecavalier, who hosts the families of children with cancer in his VIP Suite at several Lightning home games each season. “I’ve been fortunate to get to know some of these families. It’s sad whenever you see kids that are sick. Coming to the games is an opportunity to put a smile on their faces. But this is a chance to leave a legacy for them and so many others like them for years to come.”

Lecavalier’s legacy is much more than his name on a building. More than half the funds will be gifted through the foundation by Lecavalier and foundation legacy partners such as Kane’s Furniture and DEX Imaging. The remaining dollars will be raised through the community and foundation efforts such as Lecavalier's annual Texas Hold’Em Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center will occupy half of the seventh floor in the new All Children’s Hospital currently under construction at the corner of Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue South in St. Petersburg. Its 26,500 square-feet will include 28 individual patient rooms with accommodations for parents to stay overnight with their child. Patients receiving lifesaving blood or marrow transplants can also be cared for in these rooms. Playrooms will include an area specifically geared toward adolescent-aged patients. And the entire Center is designed with a special HEPA-filtered positive pressure airflow system. This allows young patients whose immune systems may be suppressed due to chemotherapy the chance to move freely about the unit rather than being restricted to their rooms.
While the generous gift comes in the midst of a capital campaign for hospital construction, it will yield greater benefits than simple bricks and mortar.

“The creation of this new Vincent Lecavalier Center will allow us to build upon our established tradition of providing top-notch care for children with cancer and blood disorders,” said Gary Carnes, President and CEO, All Children’s Health System. “It’s more than a new home for one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the Southeastern United States. The Center provides the space for our program to flourish and continue attracting expertise in treatment, teaching and research related to pediatric cancer and blood disorders. Vinny’s name gives us greater visibility - but his commitment to the program gives our patients a strong and caring partner for the future.”


Tampa Bay Lightning Center Vinny Lecavalier has made community giving and charitable work a daily part of his life since joining the team in 1998. Since his youth, during which time he spent many summers working with disadvantaged peers, Vinny has felt a passion and desire for giving back.

Later, in 2003, Vinny formalized his charitable efforts through the creation of The Vincent Lecavalier Foundation. Due to the NHL 2004/05 season lock-out, the Foundation was not officially launched until December 2005. Since that time, Vinny has contributed significantly to local children’s hospitals and charities through contributions and personal support, including numerous patient and agency visits.

Early giving efforts focused on an on-ice performance based contributions program benefiting All Children’s Hospital in partnership with Kane’s Furniture. Since 2003, Vinny, in partnership with Kane's Furniture, has donated just under $70,000 to All Children’s Hospital through an on-ice performance initiative. For every goal he scores, Vinny and Kane’s donate $1,000; for each assist, $300.

Due to his phenomenal year on ice last season, the All Children’s Hospital contribution for the 2006-2007 has surpassed any previous year’s award.


All Children's Hospital is the only freestanding children’s hospital on Florida’s West Coast and a leader in pediatric treatment, education, research and advocacy. It has consistently ranked among America’s top 25 children’s hospitals in comparative studies done by Child Magazine, which rated All Children's Hospital as the best in Florida in 2007. All Children's has also garnered Most Outstanding Business awards from the Tampa Bay Business Journal and the Greater St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.

The mission of this private, not-for-profit hospital is rooted in its beginnings as Florida’s first Crippled Children’s Hospital for polio victims. All Children’s understands that it’s not enough to treat disease -- that true progress comes from teaching and research to cure disease. All Children’s shares its pediatric expertise through research & education affiliations with the University of South Florida (USF Health) as well as the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.

As a regional referral center for children with some of the most challenging medical problems, All Children’s draws patients from throughout Florida, all 50 states and 36 foreign countries. Growing regional demand is such that construction is now underway on a new hospital and outpatient center to replace the current 40-year old facility. When this $300-million project is completed in 2009, it will represent nearly a million square feet of space dedicated to state-of-the-art pediatric healthcare.

Vinny Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
at All Children’s Hospital

  • Will occupy 26,500 square feet of seventh floor of the new All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg
  • 28 individual patient rooms, capable of caring for pediatric cancer/blood disorder patients as well as those receiving blood or marrow transplants.
  • In-room accommodations for both parents to stay overnight with their child, with a family respite area immediately adjacent to the Center and a Ronald McDonald House (complete with kitchens, laundry, computers and sleeping facilities) also within the new hospital.
  • HEPA filtration positive pressure airflow system (allows immuno-suppressed patients to move freely throughout the center rather than being restricted to patient room)
  • Double entrance doors to Center with scrub sinks in between to maintain clean environment
  • Adolescent playroom as well as separate play spaces for younger patients
  • Clinical pharmacists with expertise in anti-tumor therapies
  • Dietitians with pediatric expertise
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Child Life Therapists
  • Pain Management Team support
  • Patient Academic Services program
  • A dedicated staff of nine pediatric hematologist/oncologists, with access to the full resources of All Children’s Hospital including:
    - Two Pediatric Intensive Care Units staffed by pediatric critical care specialists
    - Orthopedic oncologist specializing in malignancies of the bone
    - Pediatric Ophthalmologists with expertise in retinoblastoma
    - Full range of pediatric subspecialty care
  • Access to cutting-edge therapies through:
    - Membership in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute-supported cooperative that develops and coordinates clinical trials at 240 + institutions including cancer centers at major universities and teaching hospitals in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

    - Affiliation/partnership with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute/Tampa, which is jointly accredited with All Children’s Hospital for its Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant Program.

    Members of the VL4AllKids Team

Erin Kisielewski and her 12-year old sister Lindsey. Erin is looking forward to three big events this December. Of course, there’s Christmas. And her tenth birthday is just one day later. But December 27th is the real milestone – five years since her final chemotherapy treatment at All Children’s Hospital for leukemia.

Mary Lumapas and her 11-year old brother, Rio. Twelve-year old Mary has been a patient in All Children’s pediatric cancer program more than half of her life. Diagnosed with a type of kidney cancer when she was five, she went through surgery and two years of chemotherapy before she suffered a relapse and started the process all over again. But Mary has taken it all in stride. During regular hospital admissions for chemo, she mounted a successful patient petition drive to get ICEE machines added to All Children’s cafeteria and patient food service line. She’s also undertaken an e-mail fundraising drive that brought in over $12-thousand for the 2007 All Children’s Hospital Telethon.

Willie Marshall, Jr. and his two-year old son Amarian. This rambunctious toddler literally would not be here if it weren’t for the expert care of All Children’s pediatric oncology program. Back when his dad Willie was just a teenager, he broke his leg playing high school football in Immokalee, FL. When the break didn’t heal, Willie was diagnosed with bone cancer - so advanced that his leg could not be saved. Experimental drug therapy at All Children’s saved Willie’s life. And now he’s thankful for a “second miracle” – his son Amarian.

Peyton Mayhew, her 9-year old brother Nathaniel and 6-year old sister Rachael. Most little girls don’t skip down the hall to see their doctor. But Peyton is not your average little girl. This three-year-old from Brandon spends at least one day a week at All Children’s Specialty Care of Tampa, undergoing treatment for leukemia. One new item used in her care is Virtual Reality Glasses; goggles and a headset that she wears to watch movies whenever painful procedures are needed. Prior to using the goggles, it would take 2-3 nurses to hold Peyton still for a lumbar puncture - even after medication. Now the staff’s biggest concern is picking a movie that won’t make Peyton giggle throughout the entire procedure.

Brittany Najmy and her 10-year old brother Jordan. Tomorrow – Oct. 17, 2007 – marks the one-year anniversary of Brittany’s diagnosis with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The Lakewood Ranch high school senior manages to find time between treatments to continue her studies and to find creative ways to help the hospital that’s helping her. Brittany has raised thousands of dollars through jewelry trunk shows which she’s given to the hospital for purchase of equipment on the pediatric cancer floor. She also was honored by her high school’s Student Government Association, which elected to donate funds from a benefit dance to All Children’s on her behalf.
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