Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Teddy Bear Clinic

A few years ago, the girls participated in a Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by JDRF in Toledo, Ohio. If you haven't been to one, it is worth a special place on the family calendar.

For little children (and even big kids like me!), special Patient/Caregiver stations are set up by local area non-profits, medical staff and volunteers in an effort to demystify the patient care that goes on within doctors' offices, clinics, even hospitals.

During our visit, each daughter brought along their special Rufus teddy as a 'patient' to the local children's hospital.  As the teddy bears visited their medical staff within the specially designed stations, we watched as our daughters became more confident in what the bears 'needed'.  I remember my youngest, one who still is very quiet in new stations, boldly approaching an immunization station to request that her bear receive all of his injections.  As she held his stuffed paw, she carefully reassured him that he would be ok and it would only hurt for a moment.  A second more and a bandaid to keep him feeling better, and she was ready to move along - but now with a BIG smile.

Even though the room was filled with more adults than children, the confidence in care that radiated from the kids was palpable.  We had a blood draw scheduled for just a few days later, and while the tears didn't completely disappear, there was certainly less of them.  In our world, less tears is a major feat, especially when dealing with the anxiety and stress chronic diseases can bring.

Tomorrow, August 18th, as we go full circle, our two daughters will actually be running their own station at the Teddy Bear Clinic.  If you happen to be near Ann Arbor, Michigan and would like to visit the Hands-On Museum, look for the Naturally Sweet Sisters and their special Rufus bears.

Click HERE for more information on the Hands-On Museum Teddy Bear Clinic.

They promise to make sure your little ones' stuffed animals receive a clean bill of health and hope to give back a little bit of that same 'patient confidence' magic that they too, once received.

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