After Mikey’s Way Leaves

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MW Day Gift Recipient 2016

My name is Mariah Turk and I am the recipient of the very first Mikey’s Way Day gift at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. Mikey’s Way Foundation coming to Roswell was a shock to all the kids on the floor, not just myself. The generosity and kindness coming from one foundation was amazing to witness, and be a part of. As they handed me a brand new laptop, I was astonished that this gift was for me; I immediately started crying and thanking them over and over again.

I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma right as my senior year of high school was ending.  I was forced to put off college for a semester and start in the Spring. The laptop I received from Mikey’s Way enabled me to connect with my friends and family. I was away from them for long periods of time. Through Skype, I was able to talk with them and keep in touch. After Mikey’s Way left, I was on the computer 24/7. I was learning more about what this gift could do for me and my boredom of being in treatment. Connecting to my friends and family was the most important thing, just being able to talk to them was the thing I needed most.  Every morning I would wake up and genuinely get excited when I would see my computer, still in the place I left it. With each passing hour I was on the computer my mind was diverted off treatment and focused on whatever I was doing on my laptop. I would forget, for just a little while, that I was in a hospital, receiving treatments for a life threatening illness. As I was on my computer my mood would constantly be good, my bed was always upright and the lights were turned on; reflecting the state I was in. It truly helped me cope.

Now, two years later, I still use that laptop for everything. Being in school requires you to have access to the internet and word documents. Without this gift I would have been lost in treatment, I wouldn’t have been able to connect with my family and friends and the boredom would have taken over. From personal experience, the effect of a Mikey’s Way gift is one that is long-lasting. It has been two years since I received my Mikey’s way gift and it is a part of my life just as much today as it was the day it was given to me.