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Teddy bear clinic teaches health care

December 09, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Six-year-old Kendall Bowen's teddy bear got the full work-up Saturday at Robinwood Medical Center after a mysterious incident involving her brother.

The details aren't known. The results were a bear brought in a bag with its head and right leg to emergency seamstresses at the Trees are for Kids fund-raiser for Antietam Healthcare Foundation.

The event included a Teddy Bear Clinic - which was lucky for Kendall and her bear, who might now be named "Lucky," said her grandmother, Lucille Jardinier, of Boonsboro.

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"They did a wonderful job," Jardinier said as she held the restored white bear with its leg and head reattached.

"We told her it needs tender loving care and it's a bed teddy now," said Sharon Householder, 50, of Hagerstown.

Householder, who works in the patient accounts department for Washington County Hospital, was one of several seamstresses helping out at the Robinwood III Conference Room.

The fund-raiser also included a Teddy Bear Tea and a silent auction of decorated Christmas trees donated by community businesses and groups. The deadline to bid on the trees is 2 p.m. Friday.

The event was suggested by a citizen, said Len Doran, director of development for the newly formed Antietam Healthcare Foundation. The foundation is raising money for a new hospital and endowment funds to pay for medical care for people who don't have insurance, Doran said.

The sale of the trees and $15 teddy bears at Saturday's event will benefit pediatric programs, Doran said.

Approximately 12 children attended the event, and 100 tickets had been sold to the lunch later that day, Doran said. He expects more people to attend next year's event as word spreads about what is planned as an annual event.

Besides getting their teddy bears patched up, the children listened to stories and learned how to take care of themselves.

Tylar Smith, 5, of Needmore, Pa., and her friend, Mallory Smith, 8, of Warfordsburg, Pa., contemplated cutting arms or eyes off their bears so they could watch them get fixed up, said Tylar's mom, Angie Smith.

"I thought I was going to get a cast" for her bear named Friend, Tylar said. Tylar received Friend when she was staying at the medical center two years ago after getting her tonsils removed.

The girls and Tylar's cousin, Marley Elbin, 6, of Needmore, came for the tea party, but got an education in health care too.

From "Dr. Bob" - Washington County Health Department dentist Bob Johnson - the girls learned that all food is bad for their teeth because it leaves plaque.

Plaque is the residue bacteria leaves on teeth after the bacteria eats the food on a person's teeth, Johnson explained. Acidic plaque dissolves holes in tooth enamel, allowing bacteria to eat the inside of teeth.

Besides brushing twice a day, Johnson told the girls they should swish a mouthful of water as hard as they can after every time they eat.

The children also got to talk to a pediatrician who brought along a stethoscope, otoscope and reflex hammer.

"If the children are shy, then they give up their teddy bears to be poked and prodded," said Yvette Blanchard, the foundation's special events manager.

Adam Poffenberger, 14, of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., said he'd prefer his Yogi Bear be subjected to a dentist's drill.

"And the shot," said his cousin, Heidi Palmer, 15, of Fairfield, Pa.

Dr. Ruth Dwyer with Antietam Pediatrics weighed and measured Yogi and Heidi's Sunny bear. She let the kids use her otoscope to inspect the bears' ears.

The event gave Stephanie Rankin, 8, the opportunity to learn about health care and to help others, said her mother, Star Rankin.

Rankin and her daughter helped repair teddy bears.

Rankin said she wanted Stephanie to know charity can go beyond helping those in her local parish where Stephanie's father is an associate pastor.

"I wanted to expose her to the larger picture of Christmas and giving to others," Rankin said.

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