It's been more than five years since MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) patient Michael Dunleavy died from brain cancer in October 2002, but his best friend, 13-year-old Brian Mullin, still treasures the memory of their friendship. Each year, Brian volunteers to help organize a 5K walk and road race sponsored by the Michael Dunleavy Foundation, but recently he felt he wanted to do even more to honor his friend's memory. Knowing that Michael was an avid reader who loved both stories and poems, Brian decided to collect gently used children's books for the MGHfC. With the support of his family and friends, he initiated a collection at his middle school in Winchester, Mass. Donations of all types of books poured in, ranging from picture books for toddlers to longer volumes for older readers. On March 19, Brian was accompanied by both his mother, Kim, and Michael's mother, Toni, as he proudly presented more than 1,500 books to social worker Evelyn Malkin, LICSW, who accepted the gift on behalf of the patients at the MGHfC.
HEALING WORDS: Toni Dunleavey and Brian Mullen with books for MGHfC patients