CHICAGO, Feb. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today marks the official launch of The CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation, a nonprofit created to provide comfort to children diagnosed with Pediatric Epilepsy, helping families burdened with the high cost of medical care and funding research focused on finding a cure.
"Each year, over 120,000 children are diagnosed with epilepsy throughout the United States," said Co-Founder and President Peter Cunningham. "In our first year we intend to raise $150,000 for child assistance and research grants and to provide comfort to 4000 children. We plan to make a difference – one CeCe® Bear at a time."
With our CeCe Bear® Initiative, donors will sponsor a CeCe Bear® customized by the North American Bear Company for $39.95. Approximately one third of the contribution will go towards donating bears to the leading Pediatric Epilepsy Centers in the US to be distributed to children at the point of diagnosis. Another third will fund our Child Assistance Grant Program that provides medical care financial assistance for parents. The remaining proceeds will fund Pediatric Epilepsy Research Grants to be administered primarily through Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy or CURE.
The initiative was rolled out to friends and family in January and received a tremendous initial response reaching 15% of the first year's goal with 527 CeCe Bears® sponsored within the first 30 days.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank the North American Bear Company, Citizen's United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) and all of the other organizations and individuals who have contributed to the launch of CeCe Cares. We are really looking forward to making a difference in the lives of the children and families who have been affected by Epilepsy," added Cunningham.
"The power of the teddy bear cannot be underestimated," stated Melissa Bullock, Vice President of Marketing at North American Bear Company. "We are thrilled to have foundations such as CeCe Cares utilizing our My Own Bear program to raise money for an important cause."
"We are proud to be working with CeCe Cares as we strive to find a cure for a disease that affects so many children and families," added Carmita Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer of CURE. "The money they donate will go directly toward research aimed at finding a cure."
About CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation
Founded in 2010, The CeCe Cares Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation is a nonprofit organization created by the Cunningham family in memory of their daughter, Cecelia "Cece" Louise Cunningham, who passed away unexpectedly on March 9, 2010 of SUDEP or Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy after a two year battle with Dravet Syndrome a catastrophic form of childhood Epilepsy. The CeCe Bear® was designed by CeCe's twin sister Reese.
For more information or to sponsor a bear visit:
Heather Lovett / 312-961-4745
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