Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dikembe Mutombo Opening $29 Million Hospital

Who says professional athletes don't have a heart? Dikembe does... Here is a story from -- "Dikembe Mutombo will fulfill a lifelong dream soon, opening a hospital in the Congo named for his late mother.

The Houston Rockets center, who donated $15 million to the project, will open the doors to the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center on Sept. 2. The 300-bed hospital will provide health care to people in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mutombo was born.

'We were very close,' Mutombo said Monday in a telephone interview. 'To do something of this caliber in the name of your beloved mom, it will mean a lot not just to me but to the people of Congo.'

He created the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997, the year his 64-year-old mother died. She was unable to get to the hospital because streets were closed due to civil unrest. His father, Samuel, was turned back from the hospital, just 10 minutes away.

'My mom played a big role, giving us all the tools to make us great human beings,' Mutombo said of his nine siblings. 'She did what moms are supposed to do — raise a child with a good understanding of life.'

The $29 million hospital and research center will include a pediatric wing, surgery suites and a women's center."

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