How We Celebrated Teddy

The hospital can be a scary place, especially for young children. Our enCourage Kids Bear’s cuddles give them a feeling of comfort and safety throughout their hospital stay. Teddy, as we and pediatric patients call him, is a great friend to have, staying by kids’ side through surgeries, doctor visits, IV insertions, tests, and anything else they may experience. During this heightened time of isolation, it is important for children to feel they are not alone, and Teddy is their perfect companion.

Jamie Antrim, a child life assistant at Tucson Medical Center says, “The enCourage Kids Bear program is important because it helps bring comfort to children in the hospital.  These bears go a long way in helping a child to cope with feeling unwell and being in a new environment. They are soft, cuddly, and are also fantastic for medical play!”

We see the tremendous impact Teddy makes, not just on pediatric patients, but child life specialists and hospital staff across the country. To bring awareness to our Bear Program and raise funds to send Teddy into the arms of even more children in hospitals nationwide, we celebrated Teddy’s birthday, September 9th, all month long.

 Teddy traveled to 19 different hospitals in 17 states during the month of September to spread comfort, joy, and relief.  Thanks to the generous support of our enCourage Kids community, we were able to raise funds to send over 350 pediatric patients a cuddly Teddy.

Watch all the places Teddy traveled this month:

Meet Madeline, Teddy’s Best Pal

Madeline, a Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, loves to have Teddy in her toolbox. During Teddy’s birthday month celebration, she took over our social media to share how Teddy helps her pediatric patients prepare for their hospital experience.

“Whenever I have shy patients, Teddy becomes their voice, especially when they are not quite ready to speak but still want answers on what surgery looks like. Through Teddy, we recently used medical play so the patient could help prepare him for his day and learn about all the things they would see before going into surgery. The patient used a surgery prep box to walk Teddy through everything, from the stickers that go on your chest to monitor your heart to the pulse oximeter to the anesthesia mask. The patient was able to see Teddy experience all the things in the hospital they needed to know about. Teddy made them feel so much more comfortable”  

We are grateful for our partnerships with child life specialists like Madeline and are proud to send Teddy nationwide to help make hospitals a better place to get better.

You can watch the Instagram story takeover and learn even more about how Teddy helps her patients in the hospital.