Boozle Bear has hydrocephalus, which is treated by a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. Over the years, our team of Boozles have ventured out into the world to provide comfort and love to children and adults alike living with hydrocephalus. Each of our Boozle Bears is handmade by dedicated volunteers. We would love to have more people who sew join our team. WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN US?
Boozle Bear was created by Dory Kranz and Sarah Zadorozynj and is used by doctors, nurses and parents to teach patients, old and young, about hydrocephalus and how shunting works. Boozle comes with a detachable VP shunt which is donated by Codman. Anyone can learn to perform “surgery” on this bear. Since their creation, the bears have been featured at WALK sites, in school meetings, various medical conferences, and even as a children’s workshop at our biennial conference. Kids have taken these bears to school to educate their peers about hydrocephalus.
All Boozle bears are 100% handmade. We thank the many volunteers who have donated their time in helping to make these beautiful bears. Many more Boozles are needed and we are actively looking for additional volunteers to make our Boozle Bears, ensuring that we have a steady supply.
Annie is one of our volunteers who has been making these bears for many years. Annie says of her experience making Boozle: “My favorite part is stuffing these little guys…. It’s when they take on their own personality and cuteness. I decided to add a little ribbon of the Hydrocephalus Association aqua color to tie around each neck. I imagine that each Boozle bear can be a teaching tool for medical staff….but also must be helpful for parents who are frightened about explaining to a small toddler who may not quite understand the process. Making these turned out not to be “work” at all; it is pure JOY.”
Sandi began making Bozzles several years ago. She personally shared the bears with the pediatric nurse involved with her daughter, Tess. The nurse then gave the bear to a family whose baby had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus. It was the perfect tools for the parents. They used it to explain shunts and hydrocephalus to their children. Sandi was very gratified to find out about where the bear ended up. She says of making the bears: “I enjoy the flexibility of making Boozles on my own schedule and for a cause so dear to my heart. The many steps involved allow you to break up the process so you can do a little sewing, then a bit of embroidery and then more sewing. It is really gratifying when I finish 10 or so and ship them off to the Hydrocephalus Association knowing they will be loved by someone special!”
We are always in need of volunteers to help us make these wonderful bears. There are many skills that are required in making Boozle Bears. They can be made by one person or included in part of a “production line” of volunteers we hope to establish around the country. Below is an outline of the necessary steps to complete a bear.
- Trace patterns and cut out bears from thick fabric.
- Machine-sew one simple seam down the front of the bear.
- Hand-sew faces with embroidery thread.
- Machine-sew seams, buttonholes and c-shaped opening, incorporating complex casing placement.
- Turn sewn bears right-side out and stuff them.
- Hand-sew 4 inch seam.
Do you have the above skills? Do you want to make a difference and help make these educational shunted bears? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a Boozle story? We’d love to hear from you!