Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Father Inspired to Aid Sick Kids

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Father Inspired to Aid Sick Kids

Article excerpt

Little Liam Kazmarski loved Mickey Mouse and Thomas the Tank Engine.

When he was a patient at UPMC Children's Hospital fighting leukemia last year, they made sure both of these toys were in his comfort bag, a bag full of toys and other items to help young children get their mind off their illnesses and treatments.

Unfortunately, Liam lost his battle with the disease last July 31, but his father wants other children to be comforted like his late son was. Michael Kazmarski has created Liam's Crew, a group of people that help provide comfort bags. But instead of taking them to UPMC Children's, Mr. Kazmarski distributes them to the children at Allegheny Health Network Canonsburg Hospital where he serves as the assistant supervisor of security.

"I thought if they help the patients at Children's, they would help our children admitted here," he said.

Helping others isn't new to Mr. Kazmarski. When he was only 18 in 2007, he joined the Lions Club, a service organization. It was unusual for someone that young to join the international organization and it all started with a broom.

"I was at the Houston Pumpkin Festival and the Lion's Club was selling brooms. I bought one for my mother and the guy asked me if I wanted to get involved. I wanted to give back to my community, so I joined," he said.

Mr. Kazmarski started volunteering and has assumed several positions within the organization over the past nine years including serving as president and chairperson and chief of the district for the Lion's Alert Program. His desire to serve the community also played a role in his career choice.

Mr. Kazmarski is third generation in his family of those who serve on the police and fire forces and in the military.

"I decided to choose public safety," the Canon-McMillan graduate said.

After completing two associates' degrees, Mr. Kazmarski began his career in various security and public safety roles. He came to AHN Canonsburg Hospital three years ago.

In early 2015, Mr. Kazmarski son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia often referred to as ALL. …

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