In Marlie’s memory
Family friend hand sews 200 fleece bears
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
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