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Great Stories –> Great Bears

By Wendy | April 10, 2009

Our Custom-Made Outfits program enables customers to have just about any outfit they can dream up created for one of our 15″, 22″, or 36″ Vermont Teddy Bears. We’ve had some interesting requests over the years and have made some pretty cool Bears, including a skydiving Bear with a hand-sewn parachute, a deep sea diver Bear with a hand-sculpted helmet, and quite a few bride Bears wearing exact replicas of actual wedding dresses. And we’ve gotten a couple of inquiries lately that have come with some pretty interesting stories.


The first was a request from a proud husband, Tim, whose wife, Deborah, was to be playing the lead role of “Ada” in the French World Premiere of the new opera “Die Feen” by Richard Wagner (performed at the Châtelet du Paris, March-April 2009). The Bear, whose handmade dress was a replica of Deborah’s costume, was quite a hit at the premiere, and Tim sent this message after the event in Paris: “The opera was sensational and so was Deborah. Everyone loved the Bear… it made a huge sensation! Thanks again for everything.”



The second story is from a woman named Stephanie who was having a special Bear designed for her best friend’s son. Stephanie’s words say it best, so here’s her story:


“My best friend’s son, Ben, was diagnosed with a sarcoma in his right leg two years ago. He had Chemo therapy for six months and then a knee replacement. After that he had four more months of Chemo. In December he was experiencing pain in the right leg near the knee replacement. It was the return of the cancer. His right leg was amputated, mid thigh, on March 4, 2009. I have known him since he was 5 years of age and he is now 25. 


I started to think about what would give him comfort. I thought of a teddy bear. After all…Teddy Bears are all about comfort and hope. I contacted Vermont Teddy Bear asking for a bear with its right leg amputated mid thigh. I knew that they would never agree to this so I was willing to order the teddy bear and do the amputation myself. I wanted a teddy bear which looked like Ben. I was working with Thea and she was so helpful. Anything that I asked she said it could be done. Amputation was no problem. Then the question of whether the bear should have a prosthesis or not. I decided it should have one to show that life does go on. The other difficult decision…to have the prosthesis show or not. I decided on jeans which Ben could roll up or leave down.


The bear arrived and I couldn’t believe how fabulous he was. I loved every inch of him. His tee shirt, sneakers, jeans, sun glasses.  So fabulous. It was difficult to give him away. There is magic in this teddy bear.”



Thank you, Tim and Stephanie, for sharing your stories with us. And thanks to all of you out there who keep our Custom-Made Outfit designers on their toes by sending in your requests for such creative and challenging Custom Bears.

Topics: Bear Bear | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Great Stories –> Great Bears”

  1. Ann Bromberg Says:
    April 13th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    What a wonderful idea, and I applaud Stephanie for the great idea she had for Ben, who is as loving as your bear.
    Ben will become a stronger, even more humane and understanding person with great purpose is his life. He has already done so, and the greatest family as his support system.

  2. Gaia Says:
    April 13th, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I loved those stories! The story of the bear with the amputated leg really touched me. Many hugs and thanks for sharing…

  3. Harold Scoggins Says:
    April 23rd, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    A great story, and I do relate to leg injury, although my injury and surgery is not as severe as Ben’s.

    In January I had knee surgery. A few days after surgery and my return to work, I came home from work to discover a strange box waiting for me. I wasn’t expecting any packages and had to look over the box carefully, having to laugh at the design and not recognizing the return label was curious as to who and what was sent to me.

    When I opened the box and saw the bear, my wife and I could not stop laughing as he was dressed in a hospital gown, had the correct knee (left) bandaged and had a crutch attached. It was so appropriate!

    The bear had to have a name, so he was called Bennie the Bandaged Bear. He went with me to therapy and even participated in a graduation from therapy picture for the therapist. Everyone loved Bennie and he was an inspiration for me to complete my therapy for an upcoming cruise.

    Bennie has been such a good companion that my wife and I decided that Bennie deserves a vacation and will be accompanying us on the trip. And because Bennie has a passport (although not a Vermont Bear passport since I couldn’t find one on your website) and email address, he will be sending emails and pictures of his travels to our friends who sent him to me.

    But I’m still not sure who is having more fun with the planning and gathering the accessories for Bennie’s travel, me or my wife.

  4. hafizah Says:
    May 7th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    having one leg amputated at early age must be very depressive. Ben must be a very strong young man, and having such a support is a blessing

  5. Nancy Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    It also looks like the bear lost some fur on top of the head in response to the chemo perhaps? It just made it all that more heartfelt for me….snif.

    I’m just so impressed by what VTB can do to make these bears more than a gift, but an experience.

  6. Rey Borromeo Says:
    August 5th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I like the outfit of your teddy bear vermont! He looks going to court a girl! I cheer on him!!! go go!!! Hi, to all fun and loving owner of teddy’s vermont! I am a filipino and I used to have a teddy vermont bear with me for about 2 years now. He has a one piece of clothes to wear and he used to wear and washed his clothes every week. I have pity on him.:( But I am trying to secure, alternatives to dress him up always. But ealse I can do tailors here are not accepting sewing small clothes. 🙁 that’s why am bit sad of my Teddy named “Steve”. And Pls. do help me around here to dress him up!:-( looking forward…:-) love and care…Rey

  7. Rey Borromeo Says:
    August 5th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    hi to all, later I will send a long story of my Teddy bear vermont named “Steve.” Ineed time to tell the very crying story of my teddy steve later onthis page, so watch on that…. see you later….