Heavy metal band Metallica announced a $277,000 donation to help fund the construction of Romania’s first pediatric oncology and radiotherapy hospital before their concert in Bucharest on Wednesday.
The donation, which included a large sponsorship from Mastercard, was made through the band’s nonprofit, All Within My Hands, to the Daruieste Viata (Give Life) association.
“The donation made by Metallica has a special meaning to our project. On one hand, their music inspires and touches so many Romanians, and at the same time so many Romanians are inspired by and contribute to the establishing of the first pediatric oncology and radiotherapy hospital in Romania, in order to give children with cancer a chance to live,” Carmen Uscatu, President of Daruieste Viata, said in a statement.
In addition to Metallica and Mastercard, the pediatric hospital that the Daruieste Viata association is building has also been funded through 260,000 individual donors and nearly 2,000 companies.
Romania’s cancer survival rate is much lower than the European Union average, the organization said. According to the World Health Organization, there were 83,461 new cancer cases and over 50,000 cancer-related deaths in Romania last year. The pediatric hospital is just one part of the association’s plan to strengthen Romania’s health care system and improve its cancer survival rate, the Associated Press reported.
Due to corruption and a lack of enforcement of government policies, there have been a limited number of new hospitals built in Romania in the three decades since the end of communism in Europe, leaving the country with one of the least developed health care systems in the EU. But the pediatric oncology hospital, slated for completion in 2020, will be supplied with the most up-to-date technology and equipment and will be one of the few newly constructed medical buildings in the country.
The philanthropic act is part of the group’s long-standing practice of contributing to local organizations that work to help each community the band visits on tour. Metallica’s members have a history of lending their voices to important issues such as protecting the environment and education for children living with disabilities. The group has also stepped up to support an end to world hunger, previously headlining the 2016 Global Citizen Festival.