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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Cancer Research, Family Services, Health

Mission: Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a national organization dedicated to elimintate pediatric cancer and to provide hope and support to those who are touched by it.

Target demographics: Children 0-19 battling cancer and their immediate families

Geographic areas served: Local and National

Programs: Bear Hugs. A Bear Hug is a customized experience that brightens the life of a child going through cancer. The Bear Hugs Program also provides immediate family support for financial burden and essential needs. The Bear Discoveries Program awards medical research grants nationwide primarily to junior investigative researchers who make meaningful advancements and discoveries towards finding a cure and therapies for various types of pediatric cancer.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Alicia34

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 12, before that she was a phenomenal athlete. She loves sports! She is a wrestler, a softball/baseball player and dabbled in soccer, floor hockey, volleyball etc. She was very disappointed when she couldn't play sports anymore, so she started watching the chicago blackhawks and that really got her thru that difficult first months when they won the championship. Her favorite player is Hossa, so when bear necessities wanted to grant her wish she jumped at the chance to go see a blackhawks game. She had so much fun and they surprised her with a meet and greet with her favorite player. She cried tears of joy when she saw him. She will always remember her bear hug.

Craig30

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can not say enough about this organization. When our daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, they were there from the beginning. We live 60 miles from the closest Children's Hospital. Bear Neccessities furnished us with gas cards to help offset the expense of driving to/from the hospital. The staff is caring, compassionate and responded quickly to our questions and concerns. When our daughter was well enough to travel, Bear Neccessities provided us with a trip to a water park. It was so great to see her laugh and have fun after months of treatment. Bear Neccessities is a wonderful organization with an exceptional staff.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son had cancer Bear Necessities lifted his spirits immensely. I have since served on the Board having recently concluded six years of service to Bear Necessities. This is a fiscally conservative well managed charitable foundation, supporting cancer research, and support of families touched by pediatric cancer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization!!! They granted a "bear hug" to my daughter. What a great experience for her! Can't say thank you enough!!!

Lillian D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter received services from Bear Necessities in 2010 and we are still in LOVE with them. They do so much financially and emotionally to support children going through cancer. My daughter is now a leukemia survivor and she received a very special bear hug, her very own violin and violin lessons. This opportunity was tremendous in helping her confidence and making her feel special.

I commend Bear Necessities in all that they do to provide such amazing services to children and their families.

THANK YOU!

Lillian De Jesus

Client Served

Rating: 5

After being diagnosed in 2003 with bone cancer, at the age of 18, Bear Necessities was one of the only non-profits that reached out to me. Because I was 18 and being treated for a pediatric cancer, other organizations thought I was too old for them.

Towards the end of my treatment I received a "Bear Hug" from Bear Necessities which was a gift certificate to my favorite mall. Not only did I receive that great gift but I was able to develop long lasting relationships with the members of Bear Necessities. Even after 10 years, Kathleen, Courtney and the rest of the crew are very dear to me. I am excited to see what is next for Bear Necessities as they continue to grow and help research, families and children dealing with cancer.

Susan267

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bear Necessities helped me plan a family trip to Florida when my Daughter was undergoing cancer treatments. They helped me with planning, got us some discounts and even were able to get us a free rental car for our vacation ! I was so grateful for there help ! Having a child with cancer makes trip planning difficult and they were so helpful to me. I was very gratefull !!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I write this on behalf of my son, Jacob.
Jacob was diagnosed, right before his 4th birthday (June 2013) with a brain tumor. The tumor was causing hydrocephalus -- this lead to multiple surgeries to relieve the pressure, followed by weekly chemotherapy treatments. Jacob will receive these treatments for 1 year.

Watching my son undergo all these medical treatments has just made it even more clear that I was blessed with one brave kid. Jacob has tried his very best to keep his chin up throughout everything. Yes, he is tired, he gets sick more often than we would like, and he has regressed slightly with his social independence. It is heartbreaking to watch my active, happy, healthy baby boy try to digest what I'm not even sure I could.

Lurie's Childrens Hosputal reached out to Bear Necessities regarding our situation, and before I could blink, one of their volunteers was reaching out to us offering any available help/ support. They began helping us dream up a wonderful weekend getaway to Chicago. It was going to be so packed w/ fun, and we were certain it would bring a smile to Jacob's face. However, after a little thought, we realized Jacob would be too tired to fully enjoy the weekend, plus his nausea is so hit or miss, we wouldn't know exactly how he would feel that day.

Bear Necessities donated a swing set, and My oh my! The smiles and laughter that have come from this boy when he's in the back yard are amazing. Jacob is sometimes too tired to go to the park, so this has been such a gift. Anytime he's outside he says, "it's nice to have our own park back here". He truly thinks it's just like a park. To top it off, Jacob has a twin sister, and when he is sick or too tired, she can still get outside and have some fun.

As well as taking care of my child(ren), Bear Necessities has taken care of me and my husband also. They were well aware of financial strains that accompany the medical care, the travel, childcare ... and to assist w/ that, generously sent gas cards and grocery store gift cards.

This organization is a wonderful thing-- they not only take care of the child, but the family too.
We are not used to being on the receiving end of help, but we are truly grateful for Bear and his mom to have taken their sufferings and turned it into such a great cause. We are also so grateful there are people that care enough to donate and to volunteer.

Thank you Bear Neccesities!

Misty6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing group of people! Wendy has been great with answering all my questions and responding to emails.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a kind-hearted organization! They gave us gas cards to help with all the driving to doctors' appointments. They also gave my teenage daughter a pair of Lollapalooza tickets (& meal money) to use after she completed 9 horrible months of chemo - she was so excited! They also called and checked in to see how she was doing afterward. I also LOVE how they raise funds for research too so other children won't have to battle cancer like she did. Thank you Bear Necessities!!