Our History

history collage image on the marty lyons foundation siteMarty Lyons was a NFL player for the NY Jets where he served for twelve years as a premiere defensive lineman. Early in his career, Marty Befriended and became a Big Brother to a three-year-old boy suffering from an advanced illness. Three years later, in the spring of 1982, the youngster’s passing coincided with the sudden death of Marty’s father and the birth of his first child – a healthy son. These experiences profoundly affected Marty’s attitude toward life, fame and his fellow human beings. With the encouragement and assistance of his family and friends, Marty became determined to establish a foundation dedicated to granting the wishes of seriously-ill children. 

This amazing Foundation has kept hope alive in the hearts of children with a terminal or life-threatening illness by making their special wishes come true! These wishes have the ability to sweep the children and their family away from the daily heartache of illness. It is a joyous time which creates wonderful memories and promotes a better quality of life.

We have granted wishes for a special trip to Disney, meet and greet with a celebrity, a computer system, a swimming pool, a shopping spree and much more. Every child has a dream, and although we can’t promise a lifetime of happiness to these seriously-ill children, we can make dreams become reality!