A Message From Our CEO
In 2004, just two days after his 15th birthday, Mikey’s “stomachache” was diagnosed as a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer. For the next year, he struggled through endless rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries and a stem cell transplant. Despite a frightening and uncertain future, Mikey was determined to make a difference in the lives of other children with cancer. When approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and offered the opportunity to go anywhere, buy anything or meet anyone, Mikey chose a shopping spree—but not for himself. Instead, he bought interactive, educational electronics and personally delivered them to sick children in desperate need of a way to escape the fear, boredom and isolation of their hospital beds. Having been greatly inspired by a weekly “candy cart” that circled his own hospital floor and generated much excitement, Mikey instituted “Mikey’s Way Days” at hospitals all over the country using his “Mikey’s Way Cart” to distribute these gifts directly to every child suffering the agony of cancer treatment. These gifts provided endless hours of mental stimulation and respite in the unfortunate and frightening world of treatment. Mikey never looked back. In addition to the hundreds of children and many hospitals he has helped, he graduated valedictorian of his high school class and finished his freshman year at Harvard University, where he studied mathematics and physics. He appeared on behalf of the Mikey’s Way Foundation in many national and regional television and newspaper interviews, including the “Making A Difference” series on the NBC Nightly News. He was honored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Jersey as the 2006 “Young Hero of the Year Award” and named a “Hometown Hero” by the Connecticut State Legislature, which declared April 29, 2006 “Mikey’s Way Day.” His heartbreaking and insightful essay “In the Depths of Human Circumstances” was published by the medical journal “Palliative & Supportive Care” in March 2006.
Tragically, Mikey lost his battle with cancer in October 2008. We promised him that his legacy—helping kids cope… “Mikey’s Way”—would always continue. Won’t you please help us?
Les Friedman, Chief Executive Officer
(and Mikey’s Dad)
Mikey’s Way Foundation