Created in 1999, the Mia Hamm Foundation is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for bone marrow/cord blood transplants, while also increasing opportunities for young women in sports, two issues of utmost importance in my life.
Support for Transplant Patients and Families: In 1997 my brother Garrett passed away from complications related to aplastic anemia, a rare bone marrow disease. As such, I have witnessed and experienced first hand the pain that goes with watching a loved one in desperate need of a transplant suffer. It goes without saying that Garrett's passing had a profound impact on my life's mission, one that was initially realized in 1999 with MHF's creation and expanded upon in 2001. It was during that year that MHF sponsored the first annual "Garrett Game," an all-star exhibition soccer match that helped raised funding to support transplant patients. In a particularly poignant moment, the MHF brought together marrow donors and recipients at halftime of the game. Undoubtedly, that moment was one of the most satisfying of my life and one that encapsulates the spirit and aims of my foundation into the present. Today, the "Garrett Game" has evolved into "The Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge," a match that carries on the spirit of raising funding to benefit transplant patients and their families.
Young Women in Sports: Needless to say, I would not have enjoyed the successful career I have without the efforts of other female pioneers who worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for women in sports. Today, I seek to follow in their footsteps. I am at once encouraged by the growth of opportunities for girls in recent years and eager to ensure that progress continue by working towards developing programs and initiatives for young women across the athletics spectrum.