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Meet Eliza – Bears for Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Each bear sold supports the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and local programs that align with the missions of Nationwide Children’s and the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation through an alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

Each year there is an opportunity to support the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by purchasing the annual Limited Edition Memorial Tournament bear. A bear can be taken home or donated back to a child at Nationwide Children’s! 100% of all proceeds from the bear sales stay in central Ohio to benefit the patients of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Named in honor of Eliza, one of our biggest fan of the bears.

Eliza spent the majority of her first year of life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Most of that time was spent in the Memorial Tournament NICU. A malformation in her kidneys caused significant damage to her lungs. This damage caused Eliza to become dependent on a ventilator to breathe.

When she was about six weeks old, she had a particularly hard couple of days. In hopes of comforting Eliza, one of the NICU staff brought her a Memorial Tournament Bear to snuggle. Eliza’s grandparents were touched by the gesture. As they learned more about the Bear, they loved the local connection to the tournament and Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Her grandparents were inspired and donated so each baby in the NICU would receive the same comforting gift Eliza had. They have continued the tradition each year and purchase an annual bear for Eliza and her sister as well.

Today Eliza is a curious, joyful, active kindergartner. She loves school and superheroes. She has been off the ventilator for almost three years and is thriving. To this day when she gets sick a memorial bear is one of the stuffed animals she snuggles with for comfort.

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