WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and her husband WWE Executive of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul “Triple H” Levesque are strong supporters of pediatric cancer care and research at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Stephanie and Paul became involved with Children’s Hospital in 2014, when they met WWE fan Connor Michalek.
Connor, 8, was battling medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. Connor formed a special connection with Stephanie and Paul, as well as numerous WWE Superstars and Divas, while attending WWE events with his family in early 2014, including WWE WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.
When Connor lost his battle with medulloblastoma in April 2014, Stephanie and Paul decided to honor him by creating Connor’s Cure, a fund within Children’s Foundation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh that supports brain tumor research.
Connor’s Cure supports research by Ian F. Pollack, M.D., chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery in the Brain Care Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, including laboratory-based research and a vaccine-based immunotherapy research. Dr. Pollack is examining the efficacy of a unique immunotherapy that treats the tumor using a vaccine not entirely unlike the sort of vaccines most of us are familiar with, such as the tetanus or polio vaccines.
The Connor's Cure campaign had two primary objectives:
- Raise overall awareness for pediatric cancer.
- Raise funds for Connor’s Cure to support pediatric cancer research at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.