By Michael Callahan
The Mikey's Way Foundation was founded by Michael "Mikey" Friedman, then 16, after his own two-year hospital ordeal battling a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer. Mikey believed that the worst part of hospitalization was not the treatment, but the intense isolation faced by children day after day, away from their family and friends. He used to say, "If cancer doesn't kill me, daytime television will!" He grew determined to make a difference in the lives of other kids with cancer, despite his own frightening and uncertain future.
When approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and offered the opportunity to go anywhere, buy anything or meet anyone, he chose a shopping spree, but not for himself. He bought laptops and other electronics that would allow these devastatingly ill children to see, hear and talk with their families and friends all day, every day. "Connection," Mikey said, "is our first step to the cure."
Tragically, my nephew Mikey lost his battle in 2008, but his legacy--"Helping Kids Cope Mikey's Way"--continues. Since 2005, Mikey's Way has distributed thousands of iPads, laptop computers, iPods, gaming devices and similar products to children all across the United States. Mikey's Way relies on the generosity of donors, so please consider donating at www.mikeysway.org.