Tatiana Quezada of Appleton and Joan Heller, coordinator of ThedaCare’s Remembering Through Sharing, stand with the 40 teddy bears Tatiana donated in honor of her brother who died. The bears will be given to families at Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center.
9-Year-Old Purchases Bears for Remembering Through Sharing Program
A 9-year-old Appleton girl took her family’s heartache and did something positive to help other children dealing with a sibling’s death.
Last November, Tatiana Quezada was devastated when Joshua, her newborn brother, died at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. “She felt so sad as we left the hospital, saying we were leaving ‘empty-handed,’” said her mother, Jamie.
After talking with her mother and a counselor at her school, Badger Elementary, Tatiana came up with a plan: Raise money to buy bears that could be given to siblings of newborns who die at either Theda Clark or Appleton Medical Center. She teamed up with Remembering Through Sharing, a group that supports those who have experienced a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillborn or newborn death and has several commemorative events throughout the year for families. The organization is supported by the Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center Foundations.
Tatiana sold candy canes wrapped with a paper bear during lunch and after school before Christmas vacation. Tatiana then used the money to purchase the stuffed bears with small wings.
“Her goal was 15 blue and 15 pink bears and she beat her goal, raising enough money to buy 20 of each,” said Jamie Quezada, adding that Tatiana also asked people at church for donations for the project, too.
Tatiana raised $330 to purchase the bears. She also wrote a letter about her experience that is handed out with each bear and letting other children know they are not alone. “I am sorry that you have had to experience the loss of such a precious angel,” Tatiana wrote. “I raised money to purchase angel bears for other families, who will have to go through what I went through.”
Joan Heller, the coordinator of Remembering Through Sharing, said she’s often approached by families looking to do something special in remembrance of their children and that Tatiana’s idea to help others was touching.
“I met Tatiana and her family, the first time, at Theda Clark following their loss. At the annual candlelight ceremony to remember and honor the loss of children, Jamie approached me with Tatiana’s idea,” Heller said. “It’s a wonderful testament to the Quezada family and specifically Tatiana, that despite their grief and tragic loss, they could find the strength and courage to support others.”
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.