Friday, August 30, 2013

Teddy bear tribute


'CARE' BEARS: Pacher, center, with Bekah, left, and her mother, Julie Redwine

Bekah Redwine hopes to make a difference in the lives of hospitalized children – one teddy bear at a time. On Aug. 22, the 13-year-old, who stitched and stuffed 54 bright and colorful bears, delivered them to pediatric patients at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC).

What started as a bat mitzvah project quickly became a touching tribute to Bekah’s friend, 7-year-old Alexandra Pacher, who died in 2012 after spending nearly two years of her life at MGHfC battling leukemia. “I decided, after Alexandra passed away, that I wanted to do something in her honor,” Bekah says. “I chose to make 54 bears because it is a multiple of 18, which means life in Hebrew.”

A life, Alexandra’s mother says, she didn’t take for granted. “Alexandra didn’t let cancer get her in her way,” Tamara Pacher says. “She spent a lot of time at MGHfC, but she really had fun here and was part of a lot of things. This bear project is right up her alley. She would have loved to be a part of it.”

LABOR OF LOVE: Bekah picked out colorful patterns for each of the 54 bears.

It took Bekah nearly a year to create the teddy bears, but she is not finished making bears in Alexandra’s memory. Next year she and her family are planning a trip to Israel to donate another 54 handmade bears to a hospital there. “I want to give kids a message of hope,” Bekah says. “I want them to know that there is someone out there who cares for them.”

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