Meet Talia: Paying it Forward Mikey’s Way

Talia is committed to helping other children

Talia’s inspiration to “pay it forward” stems from her own story, which began in 2014 when she was just 11. A happy young girl with a passion for travel, Talia especially loved visiting with cousins and her Grandparents in Florida. She worked hard in school but also found time for Girl Scouts and field hockey. Her most favorite thing in all the world was going to sleep-away camp which was only a few short months away. But in the spring her life changed. Talia learned that she had a brain tumor.

Soon after her diagnosis, Talia bravely underwent surgery to remove the tumor at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York. Talia’s surgery left her unable to walk without the aid of a walker. Determined to go to sleep-away camp, Talia worked diligently to walk without help as soon after surgery as possible. The hours recovering in the hospital were long and lonely until one wonderful day when Talia received an iPad from Mikey’s Way. The iPad provided much needed diversion and distraction for Talia not only while in the hospital but also as she continued to heal at home.

Talia’s Mikey’s Way gift inspires her to help others

The gift and the impact that it had on Talia’s life inspired her to pay it forward. For her Bat Mitzvah project, Talia decided to raise $5,000 to support a Mikey’s Way Day at the hospital where she had been treated. She started a fundraising page on CROWDRISE where she posted her story and her Mikey’s Way experience. “Last year when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Mikey’s Way gave me an iPad to help me pass the time after surgery.” Talia wrote describing the impact of a Mikey’s Way gift, “The foundation helps children cope with life-threating illnesses. It is the goal of Mikey’s Way to be able to connect every child with their friends, family and school, enabling them to cope with the long hours, days and weeks of separation that they must endure. In creating a connection, Mikey’s Way is presenting the child with a form of diversion. The diversion is a necessary element to the Mind-Body connection, or Psychoneuroimmunology.  Continued studies have shown that when the mind is stimulated and engaged, the body can respond in positive ways-more tolerable nausea, lower fever, higher blood counts and a more relaxed patient. This holds great importance for our seriously ill children. This was absolutely true in my case.”

Talia’s desire to pay it forward is a stunning testament to her compassion and commitment to help other children facing cancer and other life-threating illnesses. She exceeded her Bat Matzah project goal, raising over $5,000! Soon after the completion of her project, Talia returned to the hospital floor where she had been treated. This time, she entered the hospital not as a patient but rather as a healthy visitor to experience the Mikey’s Way Day that she had sponsored!

When asked about Talia’s journey, her Mom said, “These kids are all facing battles that no person and, especially, any child should. Mikey’s wisdom and generosity addresses such an important need for children undergoing treatment. For Talia, the iPad she received provide distraction and a little sense of escape at times while in the hospital and during her continued healing at home. The impact on Talia brought out her desire to pay it back. The most moving part for me was going back to the floor where she was treated at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and participating in a Mikey’s Way Day which Talia raised money to sponsor. The smiles received from the kids on the floor and the looks on the parents faces who were happy to see a child who was now doing so well were priceless.”

Talia has kept her fundraising page open on CROWDRISE as she continues to raise money for Mikey’s Way. In the spirit of Mikey, Talia is continuing his legacy of helping other children in need.

Mikey would be proud, Talia!