Wear a bear for sick kids

TEDDY bears will forgo their usual picnics on May 22 to help fundraise for PMH Foundation as part of the annual Wear A Bear Day campaign.

The fundraiser supports children, like Kiara two-year-old Mariah Reid who was born with a rare genetic disorder, cared for at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

When Mariah was born, she was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit with major breathing difficulties before bring diagnosed with Treacher Collins Syndrome.

Mariah was born with craniofacial abnormalities including a small jaw that blocked entry into her lungs, no cheekbones, small ears and a completely blocked nose.

Mum Emma Reid said in the initial few months of her life, Mariah endured many operations to help unblock her airways, and significant craniofacial surgery to help fix her jaw, including a Jaw Distraction, which took place when Mariah was just over six months old.

After the surgery, Emma and Mariah’s dad Carl Reid had to help extend her little jaw by manually turning a screw behind each ear to grow her jaw half a millimetre each morning and night.

Mrs Reid said it was tough expecting everything to be okay only for it not to be.

“The people at PMH have been so kind and understanding, and the medical care available is outstanding,” she said.

“If we lived somewhere without access to a hospital like PMH it’d be different.”