Michael, diagnosed with Leukemia in 2003, was the creator of "Michael's Meanies," toys developed to help children take out their anger and frustration when dealing with cancer. He was inspired when he heard a fellow cancer patient suffering during her treatment. "I heard a little girl the first night I was in the hospital and she was screaming because they had to access her port. It just made me so sad when I heard her. She was so young all she could say was "owwie."'Michael then thought up his 'Meanies' on the ride home and drew them up on his iPad. Soon after, he made Terry "The Terrible" Tumor, Lily Lymphoma, and Lousy Louie Leukemia out of clay, which were then made into stress toys. Michael's mother then started talking to hospitals across the nation about 'Michael's Meanies.'
Just recently, Michael was able to send his 'Meanies' to Montana and North Dakota hospitals, which were the last two states without them. 15,000 'Meanies' have been made and sent to more than 100 hospitals in all 50 states, plus Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand.Immensely popular in the community, Michael was presented with a check to help with his medical expenses by his fellow students at Wheeling Park High School in October of 2013.