Our Story

Project Ed Bear is a volunteer-based 501c3 non-profit with a mission to provide comforts and needs to children suffering from cancer throughout Northeastern Ohio.

Project Ed Bear began in 1994 by then 11-year-old Ede Bittle and his mother, Susan Summerville, after Ede received a non-cancerous diagnosis from bone tumors that had been discovered all over his little body.

After 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 as fortunate as Ede. They started delivering teddy bears to each child on the oncology ward at Akron Children’s Hospital.

More than twenty years later, Project Ed BeaR continues to distribute its signature teddy bears to every child receiving a cancer diagnosis at Akron Children’s Hospital, but they’ve grown far beyond what Ede and Susan could have imagined.

Today, they are making a significant impact by joining in the care of hundreds of children suffering from this disease. To date Project Ed Bear has been able to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to Akron Children’s Hospital as well as many comforting needs, such as: video game systems and games for all of the beds on the oncology 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.

All of the children on the oncology ward are given All of the children on the oncology ward are given Valentines bags filled with Valentines, toys and candy, plus Halloween bags filled with toys and candy. In the winter, children receive and gender and age-appropriate holiday stockings (valued at $100+), including $100 gift cards to Amazon for teenagers.

Additionally, Project Ed also sponsors an annual Christmas party, birthday parties, 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.

Project Ed Bear has also paid for the design and decorating of the new clinic at Akron Children’s Hospital that includes an Ed Bear Cave filled with toys and a computer area for the older children.

We also provide PlayStations in every room on the ward and in every room on the clinic. And we provide annual funding to the Ward Teacher.

Project Ed Bear also collaborate with the Stephen A. Comunale Jr. Cancer Foundation to provide a Take Me Home Bookshelves both in the Clinic and on the Ward. Every Clinic Visit or Hospital Stay our kids can choose whatever book they wish to keep. We also collaborate with them to provide monthly meals for children in their families both on the Ward and in the Clinic.

Project Ed Bear also funds Camp Ed BearThe Project Ed Bear College Scholarship Program, as well as the efforts of Liv Thru Art.