Make an appointment with a cancer specialist today.
Call us at 800-KARMANOS (800-527-6266)


Michigan District Optimist Detroit Collects Toys for Karmanos Cancer Patients


  Those on hand for the toy delivery were (left to right) Aayush Mittal, Dr. Robert Bryant, Fatima Plater, Sahar Khalid, Dr. Charles Green and Deshon Henderson.

Santa’s elves at the Michigan District Optimists Detroit Club were hard at work collecting 80 toys that were recently delivered to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center. The toys, which filled three holiday carts, are wheeled to the inpatient rooms so cancer patients who are hospitalized can pick out that special toy for their loved one, right from their hospital bed, free of change.

Karmanos’ staff and volunteers then wrap the selected gifts and return them to the patient’s room so the patient can share the items with the children in their lives, just in time for the holidays.

This is the second time the Michigan District Optimists Detroit Club collected toys for the Karmanos Cancer Center. Last year they collected and delivered approximately 60 toys.

Destiny Stroman, a pre-med student at Wayne State University who volunteered at Karmanos and is and member of the WSU Warriors Optimist Club, first suggested the Detroit Club donate to the Karmanos Cancer Center’s Santa Gift Shop. This year, the group recruited additional elves from Loving Community Optimist Club, led by President Dr. Robert Bryant, Ph.D.; Metro Riverfront Optimist Club, led by Fatima Plater; and Wayne State University Warriors Optimist Club, led by Deshon Henderson, with Dr. Charles Green, Ph.D., and Fatima Plater.  

The clubs are all affiliates of Optimist International, the fourth largest youth service organization whose mission statement reads, "By providing hope and a positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids."

Seeing the faces of patients, Karmanos’ staff believes their kind actions and generosity brings out the best in people of all ages, including the adult cancer patients who are so grateful to be able to brighten the holidays for the special children in their lives.

“Each year, I am overwhelmed by the generosity of others who want to make our patients feel special and loved as they battle cancer, especially during the holiday season,” said Laura Zubeck, R.N., BSN, MBA, director of Patient/Community Education & Volunteer Services at Karmanos. “They just don’t realize the difference their acts of kindness make in the lives of others.

“We who care for the patients and their loved ones are so thankful, not only because it makes our jobs a little bit easier but, most importantly, because it brings such joy to our patients and their families. That truly is the best gift of all.”

For information on cancer services or ways to help, call 1-800-karmanos (1-800-527-6266) or visit

© 2014 Karmanos Cancer Institute Pencil
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
If members of the public have any quality-of-care or safety concerns, they may notify The Joint Commission at 630-792-5800.