July 11, 2014

Manchin Honors the Extraordinary Life of Michael Carroll

Senator Manchin submitted a statement to the congressional record in commemoration of Michael Carroll’s tremendous life accomplishments

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) yesterday submitted a congressional record statement to honor the life of 17 year old Wheeling native, Michael Carroll, who sadly lost his life to cancer on July 3. Senator Manchin highlighted Michael’s inspirational achievements through his charity, “Michael’s Meanies” to help children around the world battle cancer. 

Below is the full text of Senator Manchin’s congressional record statement:

M. President, today I rise to honor the remarkable life of a young West Virginian, Michael Carroll, who sadly lost his life to cancer on July 3. Although he said goodbye to family, friends and loved ones far too early, Michael led a tremendously accomplished life during his 17 years, and he truly touched the lives of so many with his heartfelt and inspirational efforts to help other children around the world battle cancer. Although we are all heartbroken about Michael’s passing, it is a privilege to celebrate his extraordinary achievements.

A Wheeling native, Michael Paul Carroll was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2003. After three years of treatment, he won his battle with cancer. Unfortunately in 2013, after years in remission, Michael was diagnosed with a glioblastoma grade IV brain tumor due to the radiation from previous treatment.

Yet, even though he was once again fighting for his own life, Michael’s illness never stopped him from making a difference in lives of other children suffering from cancer. While battling his brain tumor, Michael came up with the idea to design a stress relief toy that helps kids cope with cancer. The idea is that anytime young cancer patients feel frustrated with their treatment or have a bad day, they can exert their anger into these toys. After some thought and help from the community, he created Michael’s Meanies so “a child with cancer can give it back to their sickness,” he said. Michael invented three beanies after the three types of childhood cancers: Terry the Terrible Tumor, Lily Lymphoma, and Lousy Louie Leukemia.

Michael once said, “I wanted to give something to the kids that they could take their anger out on. I thought of making these into a stress ball-like toy that the kids can squeeze hard, punch or even throw them. My ultimate goal is for every child diagnosed with cancer to get one during their treatment.”

Although his ultimate goal has yet to be achieved, Michael’s reach knows no bounds and he was able to help children around the world. With 15,000 meanies made, it’s not rare to see a child holding one of Michael’s Meanies in a children’s hospital in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. Through his meanies, Michael continues to make children’s daily battle with cancer a little easier.

While making a difference throughout West Virginia, the United States and the world, Michael also made a significant impact in his hometown of Wheeling. He truly touched each person he met. Michael attended Wheeling Park High School, and also volunteered at the Ohio Valley Medical Center and St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. He often visited children’s hospitals to spread laughter and joy while meeting with cancer patients. Michael said, “I take everything with humor,” and wisely stated that laughter is the best medicine. 

The strength that Michael mustered every day should inspire not only our sick young, but his resilience and goodwill should inspire all of us. His legacy and influence will live on through his meanies as they comfort children fighting for their lives around the world. Michael, thank you for the gift you have left for us all.