Bear Necessities was founded in 1992 by Kathleen Casey and her son Bear, then eight years old who lost his battle with Wilms Tumor, a pediatric cancer. Throughout Bear’s fight with cancer his constant concern was for that of the other pediatric cancer patients, and Bear Necessities has carried on Bear’s dream to provide comfort, hope, and support for these patients and their families. Team Bear was formed in 2005 by a member of the Board of Directors who taught medical students at the University of Illinois, Chicago and who helped provide students with running as an outlet of every day stresses. Since its inception, Team Bear has continually grown each year as a way to raise money for Bear Necessities and at the August 2009 Chicago Half Marathon, 56 runners crossed the finish line on behalf of children with cancer.
While training a group of executives from North Carolina for the Chicago Marathon, Gracie Updyke learned of the option to enter the marathon with a charity group and because of her passion for children and personal and family experiences with cancer, joining Team Bear was a perfect fit. Gracie made the decision to train for the Chicago Marathon a month after giving birth to a baby boy with just nine weeks to train and after discovering she has an early stage of cervical cancer. She is also mother to a two-year old little girl. As a member of Team Bear, Gracie was assigned a child who she would run in honor of—Syzmon is a two-year old little boy fighting Fibrosarcoma cancer.
In addition to the money Gracie will raise through donations in honor of Syzmon, gracie’s gear is also donating 10 percent of all online sales from August 1-October 1 to Bear Necessities. Gracie believes, “If these children can fight cancer, I can spend nine weeks to get back in shape and run a marathon. The fact that I have a two-year old little girl and the child I will be running for is also two is not a coincidence. The gracie gives initiative is all about giving back and we plan to do that big for Bear Necessities.”
To make online purchases in support of Bear Necessities, go to http://www.graciesgearandtraining.com/
Gracie’s Gear and Training
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