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7-year-old cancer survivor donates teddy bears to Children’s Hospital

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MILWAUKEE -- Seven-year-old Maddison Ohm from Mayville was in the hospital battling leukemia five years ago, and for her seventh-birthday, she came to Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa bearing gifts in the form of two trunk loads of teddy bears.

For Maddison's seventh birthday party, she asked guests to bring stuffed animals to donate to children in the hospital, and family and friends helped out as well. "I asked her if we could do anything for the kids at the hospital, what would she want to do for them, and without hesitating she said 'I want to give them stuffed animals so they're not afraid,'" Maddison's mom, Maria Allen said.

Maddison said when she was in the hospital battling leukemia, people gave her teddy bears and it made her feel happy. Now that she's in remission, Maddison says she wants to pay it forward, and spread a little happiness to other kids. "I think a lot of how she is now is because of what she went through as a kid," Allen said.

Registered nurse Renee Harteau says it means a lot. "As a nurse it is so wonderful to be able to have resources like this to go and give to patients who are having a really rough day. The chemo that they get, some days they just feel absolutely horrible, and to be able to maybe brighten their day with a stuffed animal and just to bring that smile to their face, it's a wonderful feeling," Harteau said.

There was a fire at Maddison's home last week, and it just so happened that her family had moved many of the teddy bears to her grandparent's house the day before because there were so many. The teddy bears were thus protected from the fire, but Maddison's personal bears have to be cleaned because of the smoke.

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