After losing sister to cancer, Michigan man donates children's books to sick, underprivileged kids

Posted at 8:58 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 10:02:23-04

(WXYZ) — David Benjamin has nothing but praise for his sister.

"My sister Michele was somebody who was loved by everyone. She was really gregarious, outgoing, funny, ambitious, kind hearted," he said.

So when she was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer about nine months ago, it hit hard. "She she just bought a new house ... got a recent job promotion, was doing great in her career; they had all these kind of great plans that unfortunately, you know, didn't come to fruition," he said.

While she was recovering from surgery — David said her health started to take a turn for the worse.

"The cancer grew back very rapidly, and she just didn't have a chance," he said.

It was during that time that David had the urge to do something in her honor.

"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.

Before Michele passed at 53 years old, David had the chance to tell her his plan.

"I shared this idea with her, made her very happy. And that's kind of what led to this," he said.

Connected with local author Jason Ryan, David reached out with his idea.

"'Whatever you need, let me know. Let's let's do it. How can I help?' was my first reaction," said Jason Ryan.

David has already raised enough money to buy about 200 children's books from Jason.

"It's got a 13 word title, which is The Capture of Lanny the Leprechaun from Limerick and the Fantastical Food Fight that Followed," said Jason.

David said he’s made the book donations to places like the Bottomless Toy Chest, Kids Kicking Cancer and a few elementary school libraries — with plans for more giveaways.

"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, you know, in less pain? 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," he said.

David said he’s keeping the fundraising to his inner circles, saying it’s just his way to help kids who are sick or underpriveledged, giving them something that will hopefully bring them joy — all in honor of a sister he misses very much.