Oct. 11, 2022 – In the course of the early days of the pandemic, Alivia Gustman, then simply 8 years outdated, was in a category tasked with the purpose of beginning a enterprise.
For Gustman, this wasn’t the time to pitch a bake sale. As a substitute, having just lately watched her mother undergo breast most cancers remedy, an concept instantly popped into her thoughts: Why not promote teddy bears to lift cash to assist youngsters with most cancers — or to anybody whose family members are in remedy?
After doing a digital pitch to her Boca Raton, FL, trainer and classmates, the concept broadened when her dad jumped on board and helped construct a web site and safe a trademark.
The outcome: A family-run mission and the launch of Most cancers Bears, a nonprofit that has already bought greater than 1,000 bears in over 30 states and overseas.
Better of all: Because of all of those bears being despatched throughout the nation (and globe), Most cancers Bears has raised $30,000 so far and donated these funds to most cancers facilities throughout the nation. In truth, since they began the group, they’ve arrange donation partnerships with Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Joe DiMaggio Youngsters’s Hospital, and NYU Langone Perlmutter Most cancers Heart – all places that performed a job in serving to Alivia’s mother – and fashioned an alliance with Keaton’s Baby Care Alliance, a nonprofit that gives assist companies to households dealing with a pediatric most cancers analysis.
So how did a then-third grader make all of this occur?
“Understanding that my mother could be OK motivated me,” says Gustman, now a really busy fifth grader who turns 10 on Oct. 16. “I needed anyone going by way of remedy to have the ability to maintain onto one thing. I believed a bear could be the right factor to cuddle with.”
For Tara Gustman, Alivia’s mother, serving to others is within the household DNA.
“This was such a easy act of kindness that occurred throughout digital faculty and proper after I was getting again on my ft once more,” says Tara, who was recognized with stage II breast most cancers in December 2018 and went by way of a double mastectomy, the removing of 12 lymph nodes, 16 rounds of chemo, and seven weeks of radiation. She’s now been in remission for 4 years.
“The suggestions that we get from everyone is outstanding. We are able to’t wait to proceed to make a distinction to these in want.”
And, whereas Alivia admits that she’s busy with schoolwork– it’s all about time administration, she says – there’s nothing higher than seeing all the bears lined up and able to be shipped out of her (and her grandparents’) storage.
Not too long ago, Alivia and her sister, Savannah, 8, have gotten very busy attaching ribbons to every bear earlier than it’s shipped.
“You possibly can request the ribbon for the particular person’s most cancers – so teal for ovarian, yellow for childhood most cancers, and pink for breast most cancers,” she says. “My sister is absolutely good at organizing the ribbons.”
Finally, that is one household that’s laser-focused on serving to others.
“Each 2 minutes, somebody is recognized with breast most cancers within the U.S. and, whereas that’s unlucky, what we’re doing retains our total household motivated,” says Tara. “We’ve turn into a useful resource of encouragement within the type of bears and dialog with individuals in our group. Fortunately, Alivia’s story retains getting shared, and the extra individuals find out about us, the extra we might help others.”
Ask Alivia and he or she’ll let you know that being a child ought to by no means be a barrier to rolling up your sleeves.
“Personally, I’d inform different youngsters to observe their desires,” she says. “If one thing motivates you to assist others – do it.”