Zoo helps launch Bandaged Bear Appeal

The Children's Hospital at Westmead's 29th annual Bandaged Bear Appeal was today launched at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

The Hospital called on the regional community to reach out a helping hand in support of the thousands of children from regional NSW who rely on the Hospital for specialised care each year.

Dubbo residents and long-term patients, eight-year-old Riley and 15-year-old Teagan, attended the launch as regional ambassadors for the Appeal.

Riley was born with cystic fibrosis and he and his family make the twelve hour round trip to the Hospital every three months for treatment. The lifelong disease, which causes serious damage to the lungs and digestive system, currently has no cure but ongoing treatment has helped to keep Riley healthy and well.

Teagan first started coming to the Hospital in 2015, after she was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Teagan spent months in hospital while undergoing intense chemotherapy, radiation and later a bone marrow transplant to treat her cancer. With treatment now finished, Teagan has been able to return home but still needs to visit the Hospital every two months for check ups.

The morning also included a visit from Bandaged Bear himself as well as a special guest appearance by Australian country music icon, Adam Brand.

The Bandaged Bear Appeal runs throughout March and is aiming to raise $1 million. Funds raised will go towards lifesaving equipment, research into childhood diseases and the delivery of world class services to help ensure children and young people, like Riley and Teagan, can live their healthiest lives.

For more information about what’s on throughout March and how you can help, visit bandagedbear.org.au.