Jennifer Kilian, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, wanted to give back to families who may be going through emotionally challenging times while their baby or child is receiving care. She donated 125 “Cuddle Bear” sets to young patients at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village to bring cheer during their hospital stay. In addition, she also donated 135 “Cuddle Bear” sets to other MemorialCare hospitals.

“Our patients loved receiving the Cuddle Bear stuffed animals and story books,” says Rita Goshert, director, Miller Children’s & Women’s Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program. “Many thanks to Jennifer for making a positive difference and bringing smiles and comfort to hospitalized children.”

In Sept. 2021, Jennifer collected Facebook and in-person donations for “Cuddle Bear” book sets with the online bookstore. Five percent of her book drive profits were donated from the online bookstore to the Scott Carter Foundation. Scott Carter was a 13-year-old boy who died in Dec. 1993 after a three-year battle with bone cancer and the Scott Carter Foundation was founded in his memory. The Scott Carter Foundation raises money to fund childhood cancer research. 

Jennifer said she knows firsthand just how stressful and difficult it is having a sick child in the NICU or PICU and was happy to be given the opportunity to give young patients the gift of a “Cuddle Bear” set.

“I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family, friends, and colleagues who helped by donating money to the charity,” she says.

“A friend of mine who works at Usborne books asked me if I wanted to be involved in this charity because she knows that I am a nurse and that I have a soft spot for babies and children,” Kilian said. “I jumped at the opportunity because I love the fact that we were able to help provide funds to the Scott Carter Foundation to raise money for pediatric cancer research, while at the same time providing children in a NICU and PICU a gift of comfort.”

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