His smile, the twinkle in his eyes, his infectious laughter, his amazing personality, and his desire to help others makes Michael Carroll a true hero. He personifies what all of us should strive to be in our lives. I am in awe of this 16-year-old young man's continuous concern for others, no matter what he is facing in his battle against cancer.
At age six, Michael received chemo and radiation while a leukemia patient and, in spite of all he was experiencing, donated his own money to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. While a student in elementary, middle, and high school he has given others in our community baskets or gift bags of treats, books, cards, and inspirational messages to let them know he was thinking of them while they were ill.
Michael invented his Michael's Meanies in 2013 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor to give to children throughout the world who are experiencing the frustrations and stress of dealing with cancer. Again, he is putting the needs of others before himself.
In the last nine months, Michael has met each challenge he has faced with optimism, courage and determination. The support of his parents, Paul and Linda, (and Grandma Heller) and their tireless efforts to manufacture and distribute the Meanies in Michael's honor are true examples of the love of a family. The outpouring of care and generous contributions from the the kids in our local schools and the adults in our community has shown Michael that he is admired and loved by many.
Knowing Michael has been and continues to be a blessing in my life. Thank you, Michael, for being your wonderful, generous self and bringing so much happiness and smiles to those who know you. You are a hero and inspiration to children and adults, near and far.