Buying a teddy bear as a present for Christmas will be extra special this year.
Susan Smith is selling these stuffed animals in an attempt to raise funds for seven-year-old Mikayla Pruden who was recently diagnosed with two tumors.
One is pushing on her optic nerve, which has a high risk to take her eyesight, and the second is pressing on her brain-stem.
Mikayla and her family are currently in California for treatment.
Smith tells Mix News she knew she had to help even though Mikayla’s father Todd runs a competitive business from hers.
“When I found out about his little girl – everything gets put off to the side and you just start fundraising, putting as much word out there as you can to help raise money for her.”
Smith, whose business sells teddy bears, was first asked by the local Shriners for 100 bears so they could donate them to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. There were a few left over so they decided to sell them with all the proceeds going towards Mikayla.
“When my husband brought up to me that this little girl was in this much pain and this much need and how young she was, I said ‘why don’t we sell what’s leftover from the teddy bears and we’ll go from there’ – it’s been quite a positive reaction, so I actually have more teddy bears coming in.”
An order for 200 more bears has been made. Bumper to Bumper in Thickwood will also be selling them starting next week.
Wood Buffalo council has also been helping out, showcasing the bears during Friday’s budget workshop.
As of right now, Smith says they don’t have a fundraising goal but notes they will be on sale as long as people continue to buy them. So far, they’ve raised around $3,000.