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Walter Gretzky encourages Canadians to participate in the #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge

TORONTO, July 1, 2020 – The Lung Health Foundation (LHF) is taking inspiration from Canada’s signature sport in a bid to prevent devastating lung disease care gaps from widening. The #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge launches today to promote both physical activity and philanthropy while being 100% compliant with social distancing measures.

“Hockey fans have the biggest hearts,” says Walter Gretzky, father of “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, and long-time lung health advocate. “I’m challenging Canada to get out there in their driveways, backyards, or even their living rooms, to have some home hockey fun and show their support for the Lung Health Foundation. Give lung health your best shot!”

The Gretzky family is passionate about respiratory health. “It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since my wife, Phyllis, passed away. But, we are now fifteen years closer to finding a cure for lung cancer,” reflects Walter. Through the #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge, the LHF hopes to move the dial even further by raising funds for more research, programs, and services for Canadians affected by lung disease, and create a safer future in the face of COVID-19.

How the #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge works: At, participants can choose what kind of activity they will do by joining one of three elite fundraising “divisions”.

  • Ball Hockey: Hockey fans with ball hockey equipment of their own can sign up for a goal scoring (or blocking) challenge, rallying friends and family to donate and cheer them on via donations to the LHF.
  • Individual Goals: This style of participation allows LHF supporters to set their own activity goals that fit their abilities – making the #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge adaptable for all.
  • Elite Fitness Enthusiasts: Fitness enthusiasts can take advantage of the LHF’s partnership with com and experience the thrill of training like a real professional hockey player – no equipment or hockey knowledge needed.

Once you decide on your preferred challenge route, you can select how to structure your fundraiser. For example, shooting a goal for every donation your personal fundraising page receives or participating in workouts and setting set dollar amounts for every kilometre jogged. Participants can make an even bigger impact by joining a virtual team and stay connected with others who are passionate about lung health, despite social distancing.

In a unique twist, all #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge participants will have their names entered into a draw to win the chance to meet Walter Gretzky at his home in Brantford, Ontario, where they can come see and experience where his son Wayne Gretzky first learned how to play.

“Supporting the Lung Health Foundation is a natural fit for, especially now that COVID-19 has shown us how important respiratory health is. Gym closures mean that the athletes that we train are working hard to keep their bodies conditioned from home – and now they’ll be doing it for a good cause. The #MyLungLife hockey challenge is a great way to give back” says Dan Garner, head strength coach and nutrition specialist at

“Keeping people affected by lung disease active is a key focus for the Lung Health Foundation. The #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge is giving our patient network a fun way to stay active all summer long, while helping us build even more urgently-needed programs and services,” says George Habib, President and CEO, Lung Health Foundation.

1 in 5 Canadians are affected by lung disease, including lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic slow our momentum,” says Peter Glazier, Executive Vice President, Lung Health Foundation. “That’s why we’re creating a network of big-hearted Canadians who are willing to shoot for some life-changing goals with us.”

The staff team and Board of the LHF are gearing up for the summer-long challenge, too. “We live and breathe lung health,” says John Martin, Chair of the Lung Health Foundation Board.  “Together, we are going to collectively score 22,000 goals by labour day weekend. That’s one goal for each of the breaths that we take each day. We’ve also committed to raising $22,000 to kick off our fundraising efforts.” 

The #MyLungLife Hockey Challenge runs from Canada Day until August 22 and will end with a virtual Lung Health Cup celebration. Visit for details and registration.


Media Enquiries:
Peter Glazer

Kait Allen

About the Lung Health Foundation:
The Lung Health Foundation is the leading health charity dedicated to improving lung health through a uniquely integrated approach that identifies gaps and fills them through investments in groundbreaking research and urgently needed programs and supports; policy and practice change; and promoting awareness about lung health issues affecting all Canadians.

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