|Project Ed Bear is a 501c3 not for profit all volunteer organization with a mission is to provide comforts and needs to children suffering from cancer throughout Northeastern Ohio. 98% of our work is done for and through children at Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron Children’s Hospital of Mahoning County.Founded in 1994, Project Ed Bear was started by then 11 year old Ede Bittle and his mother Susan Summerville after Ede was fortunate enough to receive a non cancerous diagnoses from bone tumors that had been discovered all over his body. Inspired by his experience, seeing children suffering from cancer during his hospital stay and having known what it was like to face the fear of the possibility of cancer, the two set out to help those who were not so lucky.Project Ed Bear continues to make an impact by joining in the care of hundreds of children suffering from this disease. As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to provide so much more than just the signature teddy bear that is given to every new patient entering the oncology department at Akron Children’s Hospital.To date we have been able to provide many comforting needs, such as: new patient bag filled with fun items for each child, video game systems and games for all of the beds on the ward as well as the clinic, the newest movies and laptop computers available on the ward, gifts for the treasure chest, toys for the ward and the bear cave as well as a camera, printer and scrapbook supplies. The children are given hearts of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, Easter chocolate and gifts for Easter, and gender and age-appropriate filled Christmas stockings.
We also sponsor an annual Christmas party at The Tangier in Akron, birthday parties and gifts, end of treatment parties for each child as that part of their cancer treatment ends, survivors’ weeks on the ward, and the teen group that meets monthly as well as their annual trip to Cedar Point.
In 2003 Project Ed Bear paid for the design and decorating of the new clinic at the hospital that includes an Ed Bear Cave filled with toys and a computer area for the older children.