For Immediate Release: September 12, 2013
Eleven year old Shannon Raymond, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey created stares and smiles when she and her family dropped off 100 Build-A-Bear Workshop® stuffed animals at the Stanley M. Grossman Pediatric Center at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus. Shannon, her parents, sister and grandparents unloaded the special gifts from a van Storage Inn, of Egg Harbor Township and Ocean City donated. Hospital staff joined them in carrying the bears and other stuffed animals inside the hospital, where Shannon personally delivered bears to two young patients.
Shannon Raymond with ARMC pediatric patient Keyshawna Johnson and Johnson's mother Kendra Johnson. Keyshawna was the first patient to whom Shannon gave one of the 100 stuffed animals she donated to the hospital.
Shannon is being treated at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (which collaborates with AtlantiCare, basing neonatologists and pediatric hospitalists exclusively at ARMC) in Wilmington, Delaware, for juvenile arthritis and knows the difficulty that a medical condition can confer. “She went from being an active, sports-oriented kid to sometimes barely being able to move because of the pain she was in,” says her mom. While at Nemours, Shannon met a patient who was being treated for cancer and discovered the joy of giving. “While they were talking, someone gave the child a teddy bear,” explains Cheryl Raymond. “Shannon saw how happy the gift made the child and told me she wanted to do something to make other kids happy.”
That “something” was raising money to donate bears to Nemours patients. “Our goal was to raise enough money to build 125 bears for Nemours,” says the mother, adding Shannon quickly went to those she knew would help – including her family of firefighters. Her grandfather is the fire chief in Egg Harbor Township. Cheryl, Shannon’s father Mike Raymond, as well as Shannon’s aunt and uncle are all volunteer firefighters for the township. Shannon then addressed an Egg Harbor Township Fire Department meeting about her endeavor. “Many of the firefighters gave personal donations,” says Cheryl, a member of the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department in the township since she was 16. “As more people heard, organizations donated. Some of Shannon’s doctors also donated. In addition to helping her financially, many supporters plan to help her build the bears.”
Many of her supporters joined Shannon in constructing the bears when Build-A-Bear Workshop® at Hamilton Mall, Mays Landing opened its doors early Saturday, August 31 to accommodate the group build, and offered Shannon a discount. They created more than 280 bears and other stuffed animals, which is why Shannon is able to deliver them to AtlantiCare and other hospitals in addition to Nemours.
Shannon Raymond outside AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus holding one of the Build-A-Bear Workshop® bears she, her family, friends and supporters created.
“Shannon wanted to do this to help other children,” Cheryl says. “But the support and encouragement she has gotten through this experience has also helped her cope with having juvenile arthritis.”
Shannon Raymond (holding bear), with her parents, sister, grandparents and 100 Build-A-Bear Workshop® stuffed animals.
“We’re so grateful for the care Dr. Paul Rosen and the Rheumatology Team have provided her and our family as she manages her disease, and we are pleased we can give something to other Nemours patients,” says Cheryl, adding Shannon is already thinking about what she can do next year.
AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,461 employees and 600 physicians serve the community in more than 60 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008.
Nemours is an internationally recognized children’s health system that owns and operates Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware and Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida along with major pediatric specialty clinics in Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. du Pont, Nemours offers pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to all families in the communities it serves.
For more information, visit www.nemours.org.
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