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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Mario Lemieux Foundation announced Tuesday the beginning of a T-shirt fundraising event to benefit cancer and neonatal research.

Specialty Mario Lemieux Foundation T-shirts are available for a limited time. T-shirt sales begin Tuesday and are available online at and at PenStation located in Mellon Arena. T-shirts feature the Foundation’s Giving Others A Chance To Win logo on the front, the Foundation logo on the back, and Mario Lemieux's signature screened below the back collar. All proceeds benefit the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

The Foundation was created in 1993 by hockey legend Mario Lemieux.  In that year, Mario was enjoying the greatest season of his brilliant career and on pace to establish a new National Hockey League (NHL) scoring record.  Then he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.

After a successful battle with Hodgkin’s, Mario is now cancer free and his experience lead him to focus on ways to assist those not so fortunate.  He devotes much of his time to the Foundation raising funds to support the Foundation’s cancer and other important medical research initiatives.

The objective of the Mario Lemieux Foundation is to fund promising research projects being conducted by the most talented scientists in the field. The Foundation’s most significant gift is a $5 million award to the renowned University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, to establish the MARIO LEMIEUX CENTERS FOR PATIENT CARE AND RESEARCH.  The Lemieux Foundation Board of Directors has designated the following University of Pittsburgh Medical Center entities as recipients of the gift:  University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; Magee-Womens Hospital – Austin Lemieux Neonatal Research Project; and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The Foundation’s most recent gift of $2 million to the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh established the Lemieux Family Center. The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center include an Austin’s Playroom, several play spaces throughout the facility and living spaces that allow for special family time. These areas were created to provide a sense of home and comfort for the children and families who are receiving care at The Children’s Home. 

In line with the Foundation’s commitment to medical research, the Foundation has made a commitment to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of western Pennsylvania, as well as a substantial gift to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Finally, in addition to the Foundation’s research projects, the Playroom Project initiative was established following Nathalie and Mario Lemieux's personal experience while caring for their profoundly premature infant son at Magee-Women’s Hospital. It was then that Nathalie devised this idea to someday raise funds for playrooms at area hospitals in western Pennsylvania. The Playroom Project seeks to benefit families and improve the quality of a child's hospital experience whether as a visitor or patient.



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