Hi there, hoping this finds you well! I am a mummy to three little boys, five year old twins (almost 6 they're telling me), Ben & Leo, and and 2 year old Harry, ALL teddy bear fans! One of the twins has a tracheostomy (an artificial opening into the windpipe, held open by a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe), is PEG fed (Per cutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy - a tube that goes directly into his stomach, through which is receives a prescribed, fortified milk), and is on a portable life support machine / ventilator at home. Ben was in Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care for the first seventeen months of his life, never getting home, or out in the family car during this time. In fact he only met his twin three times in these seventeen months due to the risk of infection for either of the twins.
We've therefore have been trying to teach the other two boys, about their brothers medical needs, his equipment and why he is "different", also while trying to instill in them, that it's ok to be different!
I've made bears for them with the tubes that their brother Ben has, so that they can touch them, play with the bears etc so that it all becomes more normal, but also that they aren't annoying their brother in the meanwhile!
The word has got out that I've done these, and being a nurse also, families, health centre, educational psychologists want them, so I've named my mission, MediBear C.I.C Please find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/bensmedibears
or our website www.bensmedibear.com
I was wondering, would you be willing to help us to make more of these families feel understood, socially included, promote awareness, educate siblings/grandparents/patients?
Here's what I know I can do....
Ive already got the ball rolling and registered as a not for profit community interest company. The families will tell me their specific medical needs, and I will "operate" on our MediBear, until he/she is just like their special owner, complete with the same medical "accessories"! We have been in contact with several medical supply companies and many regional children's hospitals, where most of these special children are known, and have been/are being treated, and we have their support in sourcing the devices we require.
What I require is funding to expand our presence across social media, promotional flyers for families, to be able to obtain a pay as you go phone number for potential families to contact us, to be able to attend toy fairs/ disability trade fairs, trademarking, webhosting fees & expenses.
We (myself and husband) are the only parents/nurse/people doing this, so the potential to branch out widely, and possibly franchise is huge, and therefore the Public Relations possibility will be vast.
I currently have a few dozen orders waiting, and have fulfilled orders to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, UK mainland, Scotland, USA, Israel. The potential for my business to explode has me fuelled with passion and enthusiasm that I just am buzzing to get out there!
I also have an order pending from a specialist in the biggest health care trust in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust!
I was interviewed by UTV (Northern Ireland tv broadcaster) in late July about the initiative, and have secured sponsorship from the largest private health care group in Northern Ireland, which has enabled me to purchase a stuffing machine.
I hope you are as enthusiastic about me and my scheme as I am, Please do not hesitate to contact me for any queries, looking forward to hearing favourably from you!