Dealing with adversity can be difficult and challenging for anyone, especially children. During kindergarten, a close friend of Ben Foster ’24 was diagnosed with cancer. Ben visited his friend, Michael Malone, in the hospital and remembers all of the toys that surrounded him during treatments. “I now realize, the toys were given to Michael on his really rough days, from the pediatric cancer prize closet,” Ben said.
Unfortunately, Michael lost his battle with cancer the summer after their kindergarten year. Finding positivity amidst tragedy, Ben and Karen got involved with Team Michael, a non-profit founded by Michael's mother that collects toys for children undergoing cancer treatment at Children’s Medical Center and Cook Children’s. As Ben’s mother Karen Foster explains, “To somehow get involved in helping others can be cathartic.”
Team Michael hosts parties and a toy drive each June on Michael’s birthday to restock the pediatric cancer prize closets. This is the tenth year Ben and Karen have been involved with the organization.
“I’ve learned that the toys collected in June usually keep the closets filled for up to six months,” Ben said. “For this reason, I decided to have a toy drive in December, to help fill those closets back up.”
During the December toy drive, Team Michael collected nearly 150 toys for pediatric oncology patients at Children’s Medical Center. The toys were delivered on December 22, benefiting kids for months to come, including those spending the holidays in the hospital.
“I am so thankful to all my family and friends who helped me with my toy drive in December,” Ben said. “It makes me feel great knowing we can bring joy around the holidays, and throughout the entire year to those who are having a rough time in their lives.”
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.