Here at eakin® we are proud to support Ostomy Support Bears WA, an initiative started by Australian ileostomate, Kelly Moss. The bears are created with the aim of providing comfort to children who are undergoing stoma surgery, and also as an educational tool. Each teddy has a stoma with a removable pouch that can be used to explain what a stoma is and how it works to young people.
It’s not just children that find comfort in the teddies, Kelly and her team make ostomy support bears for ostomates of all ages, to help give them a sense of acceptance and comfort but most of all to put a smile on their faces. Kelly came up with the idea after being given an ostomy bear herself at the age of 42.
Kelly said “I decided I wanted to make more teddy bears but I didn’t know where to start. I put the word out on social media asking people for help and had an overwhelming response. I now have five ladies making bears.”
To keep up with demand, Kelly used crowdfunding to purchase bears that the stomas and pouches are then attached to. So far, the group have made about 400 bears, which are donated to Perth Children’s Hospital and stoma nurses across Australia to distribute. The bears can also be purchased and shipped internationally; Kelly has already sent bears to USA, Canada, UK and South Africa from her Perth base.
Kelly relies on donations for her not for profit work, and eakin® were delighted to be able to contribute to the project through a donation of Paediatric and Neonatal bags.
Kelly has achieved a lot in six months and is proud of the impact she is making: “I believe this has raised awareness and helped reduce any stigma attached to having an ostomy. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this initiative and hope it continues.”
If you would like to find out more or request a bear, you can contact Kelly though her social media groups.
Facebook: Ostomy support bears WA