As Michael Carroll was at a Pittsburgh hospital receiving cancer treatment Thursday, he passed a child in the hallway who was holding a small stress toy known as a Meanie, or, Michael's Meanies.
Now. Michael can see his Meanies in a hospital in all 50 states.
It all started when Michael Carroll 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 Lymphona, and Lousy Louie Leukema 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.
"She just went to these different hospitals and contacted them over the internet and they would text her back and say 'We want Meanies, we want Meanies!'"
Last Friday, 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.
"It makes me feel great that they're doing their purpose. My next milestone is to just continue what I'm doing and making kids happy," Carroll said.
Michael and his family threw a special party Friday to help celebrate, honor, and thank everyone for reaching the nationwide goal. His mother said it was nice to finally meet so many of the people who have helped spread the Meanies and Michael's story. Michael resumed chemo treatments for his brain tumor in late May.