Mikey’s Wisdom – the voice of a pediatric cancer patient Blog Entries

  1. Choices

    Choices - Mikey's graduation
    Michael Friedman at his high school graduation

    Michael Friedman peppered his High School Commencement speech with golden nuggets of wisdom. He told his fellow graduates that it was their generation’s turn to make a difference in the world. He shared his perspective about choices, describing how experiences dictate decisions. And that an arsenal of experiences drives the choices we make.

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  2. Kids with Cancer Need Some Normalcy

    Kids with cancer need some normalcy
    Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

    When a child receives a cancer diagnosis, pieces of their childhood slip away as treatment becomes the top priority. And while friends and classmates are busy with sleepovers, baseball games, and playing with neighborhood kids, the child with cancer is busy with doctor appointments, medical tests and scary procedures. But, kids with cancer need some normalcy in a new world that is anything but normal.

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  3. Savoring Every Moment

    Mikey savoring every moment with his Dad

    Mikey lived his life savoring every moment.  He knew the importance of each time interval. And as the clock ticked, he savored each moment. He appreciated his time on this earth; with relish, compassion and purpose.  His work to create Mikey’s Way Foundation is a testament to who he was and how he chose to live his life and use his time.

    In one of his many journal entries, “A Moment in a Two-Month”, Mikey expressed the importance of savoring every moment.  

    Time is Relative to the Observer

    “Time is relative to the observer. Humans conspired together to invent the second as a means of measuring time intervals. Everyone lives by the second. It dictates the hour, days, weeks, months, and years. And the calendar keeps our engagements to the second in order. But time is relative to the observer. I am not bound to the second. Rather, I measure them in two-month intervals. When you think about it, both measurements are equally arbitrary; both are equally indifferent to the intrinsic behavior of existences. Only here’s the difference: my time interval is important; your second is meaningless.”

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  4. Mind-body Practices Can Lower Distress

    Mind-body practices like connecting with friends on a laptop can lower distress.
    Mind-body practices like connecting with friends on a laptop can lower distress.

    Receiving a childhood cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment can be very stressful. Every aspect of a child’s life is turned upside down. The uncertainty and pain associated with long and grueling treatment can be overwhelming. But the good news is there are ways to help children cope.  Mind-body practices like yoga, mindfulness, and diversion can in fact lower distress. And connecting with classmates, friends and family using electronic devices can help at a time of significant isolation.

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  5. Life Exists Outside of Cancer

    Mikey’s Nuggets of Wisdom

    Life Exists Outside of Cancer - Mikey's Way Day

    “There is a pressing importance to remind pediatric cancer patients that life exists outside of cancer.” Mikey’s journal entries contain hundreds of nuggets of wisdom like this.

    Mikey’s insight was reflected in the way that he lived and the words that he wrote. Crafted with the skill of a master many years beyond his age, Mikey’s expressive writings offer both a philosophical perspective and a unique glimpse into the world of a pediatric cancer patient.

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  6. One Wish to Help Kids Cope With Cancer

    Mikey Friedman's One Wish helps kids cope with cancerIt Began With One Wish

    Mikey’s Way Foundation was founded with one wish. One wish ignited by a selfless, compassionate desire to help kids cope with cancer. Mikey chose to use his own Make-A-Wish for the purpose of helping others.  His desire to help others is indeed a testament to the very person that he was.  read more →

  7. Coping With Cancer Emotionally

    Coping With a Cancer Diagnosis

    Coping with emotions when you or a loved one has cancer can be difficult. Every person’s situation and needs are different which makes the emotional challenges and the cancer journey an individual one. However, identifying and addressing feelings and emotions can help lower stress which in turn can foster improved mental and physical health. read more →

  8. You Just Have To Be Uplifting

    In the Depths of Human Circumstances

    Michael wrote this piece when he was initially refused entry into the National Honor Society. He was told his grades were certainly good enough, but he lacked the necessary community service needed to be accepted. In true Mikey fashion he fought for what he believed in.


    Is the value of community service measured in time or in effect? Is leadership the governing of people during an event or helping those in need, inspiring them to follow your lead? Through my experiences, I have concluded that for both questions, the answer is the latter. I may be unable to fill out the sheets of community service and of leadership positions I’ve held in high school. But I am at no loss of inspiring others to follow my lead and providing an invaluable service to the community. read more →

  9. The Voice of a Pediatric Cancer Patient – Mikey’s Wisdom

    Words of Wisdom For Patients and People Who Love Them

    by Les Friedman, Mikey’s Dad

    Mikey penned the bulk of his writing when he was 16 and 17. Two days after his 15th birthday, Mikey was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment shortly thereafter, so by the time he started writing, he was very well acquainted with the cancer treatment process. read more →

  10. Planting a Seed of Hope for Pediatric Cancer Patients

    “Every choice we make is a seed”

    Mikey’s words (at 16 years of age), his spirit and his attitude inspire us every day as we carry out the work that he began during his brief lifetime.  In his own words, he eloquently and profoundly captured what would ultimately reflect his legacy:

    “The choices we make dictate the lives we lead” (author unknown).  We might wish and hope that the world will prosper and grow to be a better place, but if our choices fail to reflect this ambition, our intentions will be rendered irrelevant.  Every choice we make is a seed.  A consequence sprouts from each of these seeds.  Ultimately, the consequence stands as the only indicator that a choice was ever made.  As thunder trails lightening, consequence is the great betrayer of choice.  For this reason, our intentions can only manifest themselves through the consequences of the choices we make.  Mikey Friedman read more →