David Benjamin wanted to do something to honor his sister after losing her to cancer.

"My sister Michele was somebody who was loved by everyone. She was really gregarious, outgoing, funny, ambitious, kind-hearted," he says in the video below.

Knowing that Michele had a lot of friends who would be willing to donate money to a good cause after her passing, David set out to procure children's books that could be donated to sick and underprivileged kids throughout the Metro Detroit area.

Michele's Story

Benjamin says his sister was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer about nine months ago. David says that Michele had been in a good place. She had just bought a house, was doing well at her job, and had been making plans for her life when she was blindsided by the cancer diagnosis.

He says that after undergoing surgery, Michele's health took another turn for the worse.

"The cancer grew back very rapidly, and she just didn't have a chance," he tells WXYZ TV in Detroit.

Unfortunately, Michele passed away at just 53 years old.

David Had the Idea to Donate Children's Books

The idea to donate books to children struck David, and he knew it would be the perfect way to honor his sister's memory. Luckily, David was able to share his idea with his sister before she passed.

"I just knew there were so many people that cared about my sister that would be happy to donate money so that I could buy a bunch of books to donate to children's hospitals and schools and non-profits for kids that were sick or underprivileged," he said.

Children's Author Jason Ryan Steps Up

Benjamin solicited the help of his friend Jason Ryan, author of the children's book "The Capture of Lanny the Leprechaun From Limerick and the Fantastical Food Fight that Followed."

With an assist from Ryan, David has been able to purchase about 200 books which have been donated to the Bottomless Toy Chest, Kids Kicking Cancer and various elementary schools throughout the area.

"When you're dealing with a loved one who's not feeling great, you're only thinking about them, and what can you do to make them happy," Benjamin says. "And so this was just one small little thing that  I could do. And you know, I'm really proud to be able to do it."

 

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