In Mar­lie’s mem­ory

Fam­ily friend hand sews 200 fleece bears

Sackville Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - BY KATIE TOWER STAFF RE­PORTER

More than 200 hand-sewn teddy bears were do­nated to the IWK Health Cen­tre in mem­ory of Mar­lie Cur­win.

It’s just one more way friends and fam­ily are keep­ing Mar­lie Cur­win’s mem­ory alive.

More than 200 hand-sewn teddy bears were do­nated to the IWK Health Cen­tre over the week­end in mem­ory of the lit­tle girl who touched hearts all over the Mar­itimes as she bat­tled leukemia last year.

Leonette Nel­son, a close fam­ily friend of the Cur­wins, be­gan mak­ing the fleece bears back in Jan­uary. She was look­ing to start a pro­ject that would com­bine her love of sewing with the Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tions in 2017.

“I thought what could I do to com­mem­o­rate Canada’s 150th?”

She had some leftover fleece from pre­vi­ous craft pro­jects so she went on­line and found a pat­tern for the teddy bear. She tested it out, adding in her own touches such as a heart on the tummy and lit­tle ties around the neck, and loved what she saw. She de­cided then and there she would make 150 of the stuffed bears to com­mem­o­rate the spe­cial an­niver­sary.

As she spent time cre­at­ing the lit­tle bears, she also de­cided she would do­nate the bears as a trib­ute to Mar­lie. Nel­son is close friends with Mar­lie’s grand­par­ents Veva and Gary Cur­win and had got­ten to know the lit­tle girl and was touched by what she and her fam­ily en­dured in her young life.

“I had spent time with Mar­lie and took to her like ev­ery­one else,” said Nel­son.

One-year-old Mar­lie was di­ag­nosed in Jan­uary 2016 with acute myel­oge­nous leukemia (AML), an ag­gres­sive form of can­cer, and spent more than five months at the IWK un­der­go­ing treat­ments be­fore suc­cumb­ing to the dis­ease last June.

Her bat­tle, how­ever, sparked a Mar­itime-wide ap­peal for a bone mar­row donor, and peo­ple came out in droves as blood donor and bone mar­row reg­istry clin­ics were held in dozens of com­mu­ni­ties.

“She just touched so many hearts. So I wanted to do some­thing in her mem­ory.”

Nel­son said she made the bears in the evening while watch­ing TV, giv­ing them each their own in­di­vid­ual touch as she sewed – whether it was the colour of the fleece, the pat­tern of the heart or the var­i­ous neck ties.

“I wanted to make all the bears as unique as she was.”

By the mid­dle of May, she had made 200.

“I just hope the kids will en­joy them. Hope­fully it will bring com­fort to a child who ends up in the hos­pi­tal and might be feel­ing scared,” she said.

Veva and Gary trav­elled to Hal­i­fax this past week­end to de­liver the bears to the IWK dur­ing the Foun­da­tion’s an­nual telethon.

“She did a great job on these bears,” said Gary. “We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it and could just imag­ine how Mar­lie would ap­pre­ci­ate them, too.”

Gary and Veva also made a financial do­na­tion to the IWK in mem­ory of Mar­lie, re­quest­ing that the funds be used to­ward needed equip­ment or sup­plies for the 6 Link unit, the hema­tol­ogy/on­col­ogy/nephrol­ogy ward where Mar­lie stayed dur­ing her time there.

“She just touched so many hearts. So I wanted to do some­thing in her mem­ory.” Leonette Nel­son

KATIE TOWER PHOTO

-FPOFUUF /FMTPO DFOUSF B DMPTF GBNJMZ GSJFOE PG .BSMJF $VSXJO BOE IFS HSBOEQBSFOUT 7FWB MFGU BOE (BSZ IBT TQFOU UIF QBTU ÖWF NPOUIT TFXJOH BOE TUVÓOH UFEEZ CFBST UP EPOBUF UP UIF *8, )FBMUI $FOUSF

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.