One young girl’s much loved teddy bear will be the symbol of this year’s Remem-bear appeal at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield.
Issabelle Futter passed away at Bluebell Wood in 2012 at just seven years old after fighting neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, for three years. Issabelle spent her last few days at Bluebell Wood with her parents Wendy and Andrew and older brother Benjamin, who are supporting the hospice’s Remem-bear appeal this year in Issabelle’s memory.
After Issabelle passed, her mum and dad decided to put some of her ashes in her favourite teddy bear, Bearemy. Bearemy never left Isabelle’s side and has been with her ever since she was born.
Bluebell Wood, the only children’s hospice in South Yorkshire, is inviting people to make a donation this Christmas in memory of a loved one. In return the hospice will send people a dedication card and special limited edition ‘Bearemy’ pin badge, named after Isabelle’s favourite teddy bear.
Bluebell Wood, which cares for children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions, is one of many hospices around the UK taking part in similar campaigns in the run up to the festive period this November and December. Remem-bear events help families and friends to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones, whether or not they were cared for by a hospice.
Wendy explained: “When Issabelle was born, her first toy was a teddy bear called Bearemy. He was her favourite teddy and went everywhere with her. Bearemy never left Issabelle’s side. He went on holiday with us, to the theatre and when she got poorly, to the hospital.”
When Issabelle and her family received news that the neuroblastoma had spread, they all made the decision to move to the hospice.
Wendy explained: “Issabelle was keen to come to Bluebell Wood as she wanted to sleep at that stage and it was far more relaxed here than in hospital. Benjamin enjoyed it straight away. We could all be a family again. We were altogether the night Issabelle passed away. We could see she was peaceful and comfortable and that was so very important.”
“We put some of Issabelle’s ashes into Bearemy, who still goes everywhere with us. Mollie, Issabelle’s younger sister, gives Bearemy a big cuddle every morning. Please, if you can, give to Bluebell Wood’s Light up a Life appeal, because when you’re going through the hardest possible time as a family, Bluebell Wood is where you need to be.”
Liz Webster, Director of Care at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice said: “Remem-bear gives people a special way to remember their loved ones at Christmas and support hospices like Bluebell Wood. We’re currently helping around 250 families in our hospice and in family homes and every penny raised helps us to continue doing this all year round. Anyone can donate to the campaign and receive their own ‘Bearemy’ bear.”
To make a donation go to www.bluebellwood.org/remembear/ or ring 01909 517360.