Buffalo Bills cornerback Lydell Sargeant and The Mikey's Way Foundation brought gifts and visited with young cancer patients at Women's & Children's Hospital on March 22nd.
The patients in the pediatric oncology ward were happily surprised when Sargeant gave them electronic games, courtesy of Mikey's Way, to make their hospital stay better. Sargeant played video games and hung out with the kids to help them pass time and forget about their treatments.
"It's a wonderful experience and to see the reaction - you have to see the reaction and watch those kids smile when you hand these kids a PSP or a laptop computer and their faces just light up," said Les Friedman, Michael (Mikey) Friedman's father. "Then Lydell Sargeant comes walking in and the kids are like, Oh my Gosh, a real football player! It's very exciting and it's exactly what Mikey would have wanted, and what he was looking for when he started this."
Mikey's Way is a charitable non-profit organization to help pediatric cancer patients with the mental strain of treatment. Mikey's Way was founded by Michael Friedman, a 16-year-old cancer patient, and his family. The Foundation provides at no cost to its recipients; electronic toys and games to hospitalized pediatric cancer patients and children with life-threatening diseases; and computers, printers and other electronic equipment to the hospitals that treat these children.
While Michael was in remission, he was offered one wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Most children opt for a trip to Disney World or a cruise, but Michael wanted his wish to benefit those less fortunate than him. Realizing that many families can't afford the DVD players and video game systems that helped him through his treatment, Michael decided to use his wish to start The Mikey's Way Foundation.
The purpose of the foundation is to better the lives of pediatric cancer patients by striving to alleviate the mental strain of treatment by distributing interactive games and improving the entertainment facilities of hospitals. Using funds from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Michael made his first distribution to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, New York in December 2005.
Since Michael's passing in October of 2008 his family and friends still remain dedicated to making the foundation grow and raise money for other pediatric cancer patients.
Sargeant said, "It is a great foundation. It was my first time hearing about it, and I had the opportunity to get involved and help out. I appreciate the Friedman family letting me do this, it's just a great foundation to be a part of."
For more information on the Mikey's Way Foundation of WIlliamsville and Westport, CT, visit www.mikeysway.org/.