Thursday, 3 July 2008

Charitable Donations: McCarty Cancer Foundation

With it being free agent period, I thought I'd take a look at a charitable organization today that is fronted by one of those free agents still on the market. We've all heard about the struggles that Darren McCarty went through in order to make it back to the NHL. His battle with alcoholism and gambling took him to a low-point in his life, but he rebounded to win the Stanley Cup with Detroit this season. However, Mr. McCarty experienced another dark valley on the morning of November 24, 1999 when his father, Craig McCarty, passed away after a battle with multiple myeloma. The McCarty Cancer Foundation was started because of Darren's and Craig's goal to help others facing this type of cancer.

Mission Statement: From the McCarty Cancer Foundation's website, "[t]he specific goal of the McCarty Cancer Foundation is to raise funds to finance research which offers significant promise in the search for a cure of this terminal cancer. Money is raised from charitable donations, raffles, and other similar fund-raising events". Both Craig and Darren were relentless in their fund-raising efforts before Craig McCarty passed away. It was Craig McCarty's goal to raise enough money for cancer research so that no one else would lose a loved one.

How Did The McCarty Cancer Foundation Start?: The McCarty Cancer Foundation was a Father's Day gift to Craig McCarty from his son, Darren, in 1997. The father and son team of the McCarty family recruited Craig's wife, Roberta, and Darren's sister, Melissa, in helping to raise funds to find a cure for multiple myeloma.

Diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow and blood, in 1995 at the age of 46, Craig McCarty never got down on himself. Instead, he pushed forward, enjoying life to its fullest. After a conversation with hockey guru Don Cherry, who had lost his wife, Rose, to cancer, Craig McCarty vowed to raise funds for cancer research until he no longer could.

Sadly, on November 24, 1999, Craig McCarty succumbed to the disease. However, through the efforts of Darren, Roberta, and Melissa McCarty, the McCarty Cancer Foundation has continued to raise funds for research into this type of cancer.

Multiple myeloma is a pretty serious cancer as there are five to seven cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed per year in 100,000 people. In 2008, there will be an estimated 19,920 new cases diagnosed in the United States alone. While the disease is treatable, it is currently incurable. Thanks to the McCarty Cancer Foundation, over $4 million has been raised for multiple myeloma research.

Darren McCarty and his mother, Roberta, are members of the Board of Directors. Along with them, Mrs. Marian Ilitch also serves on the Board of Directors. Marian is the wife of Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Red Wings. However, the Board of Directors is filled with a number of talented people that aren't involved in hockey, as well as a medical advisory team. Mr. McCarty has assembled a very talented team in the fight against cancer.

How Can I Help?: As always, your donations go a long way in helping the McCarty Cancer Foundation. There's no online donation form, unfortunately, but there is a phone number. You can call the McCarty Cancer Foundation toll-free at (800) 746-0355 or (248) 336-2500. You can also mail your donation via cheque through snail mail. Depending on where you are, there are one of two addresses to which you can send your envelope.

USA residents
McCarty Cancer Foundation
27172 Woodward Ave. Suite 300
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Canadian residents
McCarty Cancer Foundation
P.O. Box 63
Leamington, ON
N8H 3W1

If you're interested in hosting an event to help the McCarty Cancer Foundation, please click here. And, if you have any questions at all about the McCarty Cancer Foundation, I encourage you to send them a comment.

The McCarty Cancer Foundation, the NHLPA, and the McCarty family are helping the communities they live in. It's time for us to help them as well.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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