The Venezuelan baseball player Johan Santana, starting pitcher for the Mets on opening day this year, announced today that he will donate $100,000 to support research on skin cancer treatment at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, reported The Wall Street Journal.
“I’m very happy with everything they do,” Santana said this week after touring the facilities of Langone’s Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group, which he called “amazing.”
News of the donation, which is from Santana’s personal foundation in partnership with the New York Mets Foundation, comes shortly after the start of this year’s Major League Baseball season, which marks Santana’s return after a shoulder injury kept him sidelined last year.
Skin cancer awareness and prevention is a cause close to Santana’s heart, because his agent’s wife lost her life to the disease in 2007 at the age of 42. Santana indicated that he and his wife, Yasmile, have since become determined to help “find a cure for this deadly disease.” They and their children wear sunscreen “every time” they go outside.
Santana said that his donation comes in the wake of encouraging new advances in skin cancer research.
“To help right now is good… and we’re going to continue helping as much as we can,” he said.
The pitcher has also given charitable donations to help build sports facilities including a baseball field in his home town of Tovar, Venezuela.
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / April 10, 2012