On Thursday, Cook Children’s Medical Center received 2,000 Barbies and other toys in memory of 7-year-old Athena Strand, the hospital said in a press release.
Strand, who was killed last November, was once treated at Cook Children’s Hospital and spent three days in the hospital. During her time there, she was given a pink teddy “prayer bear”, which quickly became her favorite. According to a press release, the bear was in Athena’s coffin during her memorial service last month.
The Fed-Ex delivery driver blamed for her death was delivering a package containing a “You Can Be Anything” Barbie doll to Strand’s father’s home. Upon learning of the tragedy, Mattel contacted the Strand family and wanted to make a donation in Athena’s honor, according to a press release.
When asked where she would like to donate to, Strand’s mom, Maitlyn Gandhi, immediately suggested Cook Children’s Medical Center, Gandhi’s legal team said.
Last Thursday, Gandhi helped set up Barbies and toys for the hospital’s You Can Be Anything event. Then the little patients could choose a toy, have a snack and assemble the craft.
“It was a special occasion in memory of my daughter,” Gandhi said. “I’m grateful to everyone who helped make this happen.”