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Braylon's Birthday Bears

Our founder’s nephew Braylon was born with Schizencephaly, a rare brain disorder that affected both sides of his brain. Braylon unfortunately passed away on May 8th at the age of eight years old.

Braylon’s Birthday Bears is an annual giving campaign/fundraiser. Each year we will be collecting and accepting teddy bears (must be new) that will be gifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta annually on August 2 in honor of Braylon Johnston. The teddy bears are given to the children throughout their stay at the hospital to provide them peace and comfort.

Through out the year you can shop our Braylon's Birthday Bears amazon registry page at your convenience to have the stuffed animals shipped directly to us, with no confusion. 
How Braylon’s Birthday Bears got its start: At Braylon’s funeral, in lieu of flowers, his family asked for the teddy bears that they had planned to donate to CHOA. Braylon’s friends donated 250 bears!!! One month after his passing, the teddy bears were dropped off at CHOA, which is when Braylon’s family and the hospital staff discussed the idea of making this an annual giving campaign. Thus, Braylon’s Birthday Bears was born! 

Braylon's Brithday Bears at Childrens Hospital of Atlanta

More on Braylon’s story below:

Braylon Johnston, our superhero, was brought into our lives on August 2, 2010. Born a Leo, it’s no surprise Braylon was a powerful force to be reckoned with. He was the center of our lives from day one. From trips to Disney World, Gatlinburg, TN, the beach and several Alabama championship football games, Braylon was happiest when on the road and surrounded by his family.

His favorite daily activities included listening to music, watching movies and soaking in his grandparents’ hot tub. Braylon’s favorite thing to do each year was to dress up for Halloween. He became well-known in the community and had the neighborhood lining up to see his outfit. Throughout his life, he won the ‘Best Costume Award’ for Elmo, Carl Fredricksen from Up, Dracula, Big Al (Roll Tide!), Superman, Raphael, Mummy and Olaf.

Because of how happy of a child Braylon was, many are saddened to know he was born with several health conditions – bi-lateral open lip schizencephaly, hydrocephalus and septo-optic dysplasia – that made his everyday life more challenging. Despite the odds against him, he never lost his fight and smile.
Throughout Braylon’s life, he had many overnight stays at CHOA and his family was always very appreciative and impressed by the sweet, caring staff.

When Braylon passed, his family wanted to give back to the hospital and keep his legacy alive, which is where the teddy bear donation idea – now Braylon’s Birthday Bears – came to fruition.

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