09/24/1997 AT 12:00 AM EDT
The hockey world rejoiced when Mario Lemieux returned to play the game after a brief retirement. And now Lemieux is giving more than just his talent to the game -- he's also giving back to the community in other ways. Lemieux, who established The Mario Lemieux Foundation in 1993 after he had a bout with Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph nodes), will -- on behalf of the Foundation -- give a $5 million gift to establish the Mario Lemieux Centers for Patient Care and Research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on Thursday, reports the Associated Press. This isn't the first time that Lemieux has made a significant contribution to medical research. His foundation also established the Austin Lemieux Neonatal Research Project, in honor of his 4-year-old son who was born 2 months prematurely. Lemieux, an owner-player of the Pittsburgh Penguins, recently announced that he will play in the 2002 Olympics for his native Canada.