VincentLecavalier Big Heart for Children Suffering From Cancer
WhenVincent Lecavalier left Tampa Bay Lightning after fifteen years ofsuccess in the National Hockey League, few expected that severalteams were pursuing the services of the Canadian born player. To thesurprise of many fans of the game, Vincent Lecavalier signed alucrative contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. This was a surprisebecause the Flyers seemed to be comfortable with their current team.His contribution to the team was impressive with fourteen points inthe first twenty two games (Christmann, 2014). However, this is notthe only thing we know about Vincent Lecavalier. His compassion andoff the ice zeal to help those who are suffering has not receivedenough attention, relative to his performance on the ice. VincentLecavalier big heart has enabled his help numerous children sufferingfrom cancer, together with their families.
TheQuebec born Vincent Lecavalier joined the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1998in the National Hockey League Entry Draft. He was the first to beselected in the draft which involves all the franchises in theleague. At the age of 18, the first overall position was a hugesuccess, but placed a lot of expectations on him. As a result,Vincent Lecavalier states that he was under a lot of pressure toperform, although he had only played in the junior leagues. Theexpectation was too high that he was compared to the Michael Jordan,one of the greatest sport personalities in North America. After one ahalf decade at the Lightning, there is no doubt that the club’sinvestment in Vincent Lecavalier was justified. His success over theyears is evident from several accolades and medals which include NHLAll-Star Game appearances, a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal, aWorld Cup Gold Medal and the Mark Messier Leadership Award. There isno doubt that Vincent Lecavalier is one of the candidates forNational Hockey League Hall of Fame (Jones, 2013).
Thepressure and milestones of Vincent Lecavalier on the ice is arelatively compared what the humble and jovial sportsman has beenable to do for children suffering from cancer, especially as the AllChildren’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. He is one of the celebratedsports personalities who are using their fame and status in thesociety to make a difference in the lives of suffering children andtheir families. The over twenty eight thousand square foot pediatricfacility is located in the seventh floor of the hospital. The“Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center”provides services and hope to children fighting for survival in thehospital. According to Lecavalier the facility also offers social andmoral support to families of children suffering from cancer. Thefacility sponsored by Lecavalier occupies the whole floor in thehospital and can cater for up to 28 children with individual patientroom. The facility cares for children with cancers, blood disordersas well as those undergoing bone marrow transplants. In his opinion,Lecavalier notes that while majority of sport personalities focuseson every game and every competition, which defines his success, thebattles of these suffering children and their families have become apart of his life on and off the ice.
Lecavalierstates that “I am a father of a four years old girl, a status thathas enhanced my compassion and sympathy for the suffering children.Due to my love for children, I believe I became a father even beforemy daughter was born”. While his compassion for children andconcerns about their suffering started when he was a young lad, himbeing a father has brought about a new dimension on how he viewschildren and their suffering. He states that “it is very difficultto imagine a young children suffering from a serious disease such ascancer. If you can imagine your own children in the same situation,definitely you will walk to the hospital and do something for thesechildren and their families”.
Theprogram, which is managed by Lecavalier Foundation was started in2010 and has helped many children suffering several types of cancersas well as providing support to their families. Additionally, thefoundation is also engaged in medical research and pediatric care. Toenhance the effectiveness of the program, Lecavalier partners withcommunity based organizations and other stakeholders. In its secondyear of operation, in 2011, the program targeted over 50 bone marrowtransplants and over four thousand outpatient children.
Explainingwhen the idea to start the program was born, Lecavalier states thatsince he was young, he could not stand the sight of a sufferingchild. “Looking at a sick child was like watching a horror moviewhen I was young”. Although he had been involved in charity workthroughout his career in the National Hockey League, he had alwaysdesired to start something that will focus on the suffering children.He retaliate that majority of charitable organizations andfoundations he had previously worked with have diverse goals. Basedon these observations, he says that “we made a decision to createsomething better this addresses a specific problem affecting childrenin the society”. Lecavalier warns that implementing the program andbalancing his commitment to the course and demands of the game wasnot an easy task. However, through the commitments of individuals hetrusted to run the program, he is proud of its impacts on thesociety.
Manypeople adore professional sports personalities. Due to the attentionthey are able to attract from the general public, especially youngfans, they have their ability to be positive role models. In themodern society where technology defines all aspects of life, it ispossible to a professional hockey player like Lecavalier to berecorded doing something bad or good. Due to the phenomenon abilityof modern technology to disseminate information, a single snap of afamous sportsman can be viewed by millions of people around the worldwithin a short period of time. Lecavalier argues that this is one ofthe factors that force many famous personalities to engage themselvesin charity work. He states that “charity work has emerged animportant strategy for sport personalities to brand themselves andmentor young children”. Although his passion to help sufferingchildren is the main factor that motivated his to engage inphilanthropic work, the need to be a good role model was also animportant factor. He says that “I am treated like a hero in my hometown of Quebec. I am forced to behave like a hero. So many youngpeople want to be like Lecavalier. Doing going for the society isparamount. It is something I cannot avoid”.
Christmann,K. (2014). After some initial excitement at signing the formersuperstar, it quickly dissipated. Now the question has changed from"how will he fit in?" to "how can they get rid ofhim?”http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2014/6/5/5748372/vincent-lecavalier-profile-analysis-grade-flyers.
Jones,T. (2013). Vinny Lecavalier touches Tampa Bay in lasting way.http://www.tampabay.com/sports/hockey/lightning/lecavalier-touches-tampa-bay-in-lasting-way/2128949.