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.
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.
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.
Wonderful organization!!! They granted a "bear hug" to my daughter. What a great experience for her! Can't say thank you enough!!!
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.
Lillian De Jesus
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.
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 !!!
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!
Amazing group of people! Wendy has been great with answering all my questions and responding to emails.
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!!
Bear Necessities is amazing! When my 2 year old son was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, Bear Necessities went above & beyond to find him a swingset so he would still be able to play outside when he wasnt supposed to be around others. I recommend this organization to anyone who has a child fighting cancer.
I had been given a call for my son to receive a Bear Hug from Bear Necessities. With talking about what would be good for him to have, we received a toddler bed frame, pirate bed sheets, and a treasure chest toy chest for my 2yr old who had been diagnosed with a Wilm's Tumor stage 2 and was going through chemotherapy. This far exceeded what I had thought would be given to us, and it was just what my son needed at the time. He was able to go to his comfy bed all by himself instead of being lifted into the crib I had for him; and he could pick up toys easy with them all fitting in a toy chest, so it was fun for him to play and didn't wear him out to pick up after his treatment days. Bear Necessities is great!
Bear Necessities is one of the best organizations, hands down. As a former client (Cancer Survivor), the staff at Bear Necessities really did a lot for me. I did not really know much about BN previous to my battle with osteosarcoma, and I could not have imagined the great lengths to which other people truly went for me as I fought for my life. Though unexpected, it was definitely not unappreciated. I could never, and will never, forget what the generous team of volunteers at Bear Necessities have done for me. I was honored as a small miracle ambassador that following year, and as I interned for them (summer 2009) I really came to better understand what it is that they do. They're more than just a small miracle provider- BN is a big miracle, in and of itself. I'm glad that I was, and will always be a part of the BN family.
My son was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 8 years old. When we were not sure if he would see his 9th birthday, Bear Necessities arranged a McDonald's party for him and a couple of his friends in the hospital. When my son was released from the hospital they had tickets for the whole family to see the Chicago Bears and a signed Brian Urlacher jersey for Josh. The thing I love the most about Bear Necessities is that they also are trying to find a cure for pediatric cancer, treating the spirit through the small miracle program and funding research to cure the cause.