Bear Hugs Program
The Bear Hugs Program supports current cancer patients (ages 0 –19), as well as their immediate families that face the many challenges that accompany the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancer. Our outreach serves both in state and out of state children that are being treated at one of the nine major Chicago area hospitals with pediatric oncology departments. A Bear Hug is a customized experience that brightens the life of a child going through cancer. The Bear Hugs Program also provides immediate family support for financial burden and essential needs.
What is a Bear Hug?
A Bear Hug is a customized experience that brightens the life of a child going through cancer. Every Bear Hug is different because every child is different. We work with the child and their family to design a Bear Hug that meets their unique needs and interests.
Do I qualify for a Bear Hug?
Any children (0-19) currently in treatment, living in the state of Illinois or being treated at one of the nine major Chicago area hospitals with pediatric oncology departments qualifies for our services.
How can I get a Bear Hug?
The best way to start the Bear Hug process is to reach out to your hospital’s social worker or child life specialist. They have the necessary paperwork needed to formally refer a child. If you are not being treated at one of our nine partner hospitals (see list below) please contact, email@example.com directly.
Please note: Due to confidentiality guidelines, parents/guardians and hospital staff are the only individuals authorized to submit a formal referral. If you have questions about this policy, please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org, directly to discuss.
What do most kids choose to do?
Every Bear Hug is unique, so there really isn’t a standard experience! Your Bear Hug Giver will work with you to find the best fit for your child. The more creative the kids get, the more fun the Bear Hug! Your Bear Hug Giver can provide you with examples for your child’s age group and gender, but we encourage you to make the experience your own.
What are the nine major Chicago area hospitals with pediatric oncology departments?
Advocate Hope Children's Hospital
Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital
Central DuPage Hospital
Children's Memorial Hospital
Cook County Children's Hospital
Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital of Loyola Medical Center
Rush University Medical Center
University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital
University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center
Bear Hug Needs:
- Grocery Gift Cards (Jewel or Dominick's)
- Gas Gift Cards (BP or Shell)
If you are interested in helping fulfill a child's Bear Hug by purchasing items,
funding a special experience or making a designated donation to this program,
please contact 312.214.1200 x25 or email@example.com.
All donations will receive proper acknowledgement for tax purposes.
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