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Young Cancer Survivor Gives Back

Teddy Bear Photo1
Sydni McConnell

Sydni McConnell knows a lot about the spirit of giving. It was an unrelated anonymous donor who saved her life two years ago with a bone marrow transplant. Now Sydni is also giving back to people who are going through what she survived.

What makes the story even more memorable is the fact that Sydni is just four years old.

One of her neighbors in Clearwater, Neb heard about Scentsy teddy bears and asked Sydni’s mother Heidi if she’d be interested in getting involved. The stuffed animals help raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.

Sydni jumped at the chance.

"It’s just a small town with a lot of love,” Heidi McConnell said of her home town. “If there’s anybody hurting, they really like to help they were willing to help Sydni give back after everything this place has given her."

The town of 400 donated 36 bears.

The McConnells arrived at The Nebraska Medical Center Wednesday morning for a blood test and check up. In between the two appointments, Sydni and her mother went room to room in pediatrics handing out Scentsy bears to kids of all ages.

“She thinks she came to the hospital today to hand out bears out to sick kids to make them feel better,” McConnell said.

The first Scentsy bear went to Colton Hagemann a six year old boy fighting leukemia.

“It means so much,” said Patricia Hagemann, Colton’s mother. “And knowing it came from another child who is a survivor of what he has. It’s very, very meaningful. He looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, when can we do this? When can we bring up something for the kids?’”

Sydni may not know what an inspiration she is to the young patients and their parents, but her mother says Sydni knows what she’s been through and plans to keep on giving.

"She's two years out from treatment and doing spectacular."