A 7-year-old has raised thousands of dollars to buy stuffed animals for a special cause which is winning hearts across the country.
Alex Walker has been donating stuffed animals to hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital being one of them.
She visited the children at the pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit, as they cannot leave their room and so she carried the stuffed animals with her as part of her project, Alex’s Fluffy Buddies.
“Because they just seemed lonely and sad in there,” she said sitting next to her wagon.
Walker had been diagnosed with epilepsy when she was just 11 months old.
Her mother, Melissa, said she had to be at the hospital for testing and treatment for up to 100 seizures per day.
“I love watching Alex bring happiness to a kid that’s in a situation they don’t want to be in,” Walker said. “They’re not happy, they might be scared like she was.”
Alex decided to create Alex’s Fluffy Buddies, during her difficult years coping with epilepsy.
She raises money to purchase stuffed animals for children who need comfort.
Alex said she has had her teddy bear, Sky Bear, by her side forever and it has really helped get her through her treatments in hospital.
Dr. Ajay Gupta, head of pediatric epilepsy at the Cleveland Clinic says that it disproportionately impacts children.
“Alex was incredibly lucky,” Dr. Gupta said. “You can see that she’s not only doing great things but helping other children. So I think in that sense, it just gives a message that it’s a condition that once you suspect early, diagnose early, find the right treatment and the right path for that child.”
Alex’s mother said she had seen many of the children getting treated didn’t have a stuffed animal to comfort them in the hospital.
After hundreds of donated stuffed animals later, Alex was named a GoFundMe Kid Hero.
“A little bit of fresh air, a breath of kindness, a little bit of a distraction makes a world of a difference,” said Leah Foster, the mother of a patient.
Alex has raised more than $17,000 online now, but it was a humble beginning for her.
She said she was in the hospital and saw some kids did not have stuffed animals, so she wanted to give them some of hers, but my mom said that she should give them new ones.
She said, she saved her Chuck E. Cheese money and bought them bears.
Alex is ambitious when she says she wants to have more than 100,000 bears to donate.
Her mom said they are working hard to make it happen and is also planning to make Alex’s Fluffy Buddies into a non-profit.
Alex recently lost her dear Sky Bear in Mentor and hopes it is returned back to her.