Submitted by Linda McGlone
EPILEPSY ACTION AUSTRALIA INTRODUCES THE MILLION DOLLAR TEDDY BEAR
TO FUND CARE FOR 250,000 AUSTRALIANS WITH EPILEPSY
RELEASE DATE: 18 November 2020
In a bold bid to raise funds for essential services for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who are affected by epilepsy, Epilepsy Action Australia have launched an innovative charity campaign called “The Million Dollar Teddy Bear”, aimed at finding one amazing philanthropist or corporation hero with a heart of gold, to buy the bear for $1,000,000.
The Million Dollar Teddy Bear has been outfitted by 2019 National Designer of the year Christian Kimber (whose brother has epilepsy), with bespoke designed garments, expertly stitched by hand.
With this million dollars Epilepsy Action Australia will be able to provide:
- Support for people with epilepsy of all ages, from very young children and their families,
- Seven day a week phone support, with a trained nurse at the end of the,
- Epilepsy education for the broader community,
- Campaigning for new treatments,
- and raising awareness of epilepsy and its impact.
Every March Epilepsy Action Australia holds Purple Day, their major fundraising event for the year. Unfortunately, this year it coincided with the shutdown of society with the COVID-19 virus. This meant a major funding shortfall which is threatening services. Because epilepsy didn’t stop for COVID. It marched ever onwards with increased need.
Why a teddy bear? Well, one of the many wonderful things Epilepsy Action Australia does is to send young kids with epilepsy their own Cuddly Ted-E-Bear (the E stands for epilepsy), which helps them feel the love and support they can get in a very tangible way. Like, Lila Wadelton, the inspiration behind The Million Dollar Teddy Bear.
In 2019, Lila was diagnosed with epilepsy after experiencing a series of full tonic-clonic seizures, along with up to forty absence seizures a day. She was just six-years-old at the time so her family knows first-hand the amazing support Epilepsy Action Australia offers, and why their services need to continue. Her Cuddly Ted-E-Bear is a cherished possession. She hopes that someone will buy the Million Dollar Teddy Bear so all the other people in Australia who have epilepsy like her can experience the kindness she felt from the wonderful people at Epilepsy Action Australia.
The Million Dollar Teddy Bear will launch via a microsite at milliondollarteddybear.com with a minute long video voiced by renowned Australian actor Nadine Garner introducing the bear to the world, featuring a beautiful poem that tells the story of why The Million Dollar Teddy Bear is so important for so many. Already some well known Australians such as comedian Tommy Little, Gruen star and 3AW breakfast co-host Russel Howcroft, and Nadine have begun to throw their weight behind the cause.
The hope is that thousands of Aussies will tag as many rich people and businesses as possible using the hashtag #milliondollarteddybear to give The Million Dollar Teddy Bear the loving home it deserves.
For people who don’t happen to have a million dollars lying around, there is also an option to buy a specially designed Christian Kimber bandana for $20 or a an original Cuddly Ted-E-Bear at https://www.epilepsy.org.au/shop/milliondollarbear/