Toy collection honors memory of teacher’s sibling

RAISING SPIRITS — Pupils and staff at Follansbee Middle School as well as community members donated 137 toys for the young patients at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital during a collection organized by teacher Kelly Eggert in memory of her brother, Farnkie Biewin, who died of cancer at the age of 12. -- Contributed

FOLLANSBEE — A toy drive held at Follansbee Middle School in September will help to bring smiles to the young patients at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital while carrying on the spirit of the late sibling of the teacher behind it.

Kelly Eggert said she organized the drive to remember her brother, Frankie Biewin, who died of reticulum sarcoma at the age of 12 in December 1969, just a few months after he had been diagnosed.

Eggert, who was 6 at the time, said, “I think of everything in my life as before Frankie and after Frankie.” Eggert said she named her daughter for him and in recent years has tried to do other things to honor him.

She said because September is both Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the month of her brother’s birthday, it seemed a good time to hold the toy drive.

Eggert said she expected to collect perhaps 50 toys so she was very pleased when 137 were brought in by pupils, staff and community members.

She said she hopes to hold it again next year.