Fort Worth

Mattel Donates Barbies to Fort Worth Hospital in Honor of Athena Strand

Cook Children's Medical Center

Cook Children's Medical Center received 2,000 Barbies and other toys Thursday in memory of 7-year-old Athena Strand, the hospital announced in a press release.

Strand, who was killed last November, was once a patient at Cook Children's and was hospitalized for three days. During her time there, she was given a pink stuffed "prayer bear" that quickly became her favorite. The bear was in Athena's coffin during her funeral service last month, according to the press release.

The Fed-Ex delivery driver charged in her death was delivering a package of a "You Can Be Anything" Barbie doll to Strand's father's home. After hearing of the tragedy, Mattel reached out to the Strand family and wanted to make a donation in honor of Athena, according to the press release.

When asked where she wanted to make the donations, Strand's mom, Maitlyn Gandy immediately suggested Cook Children's Medical Center, Gandy's legal team said.

Cook Children's Medical Center

Last Thursday, Gandy helped set up barbies and toys for a "You Can Be Anything" event organized by the hospital. Young patients were then able to select a toy, have a snack and complete crafts.

"This was a special event in memory of my daughter," Gandy said. "I'm grateful for everyone who helped make it happen."

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