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SPREADING JOY: Tyler girl delivers 225 bears to Christus patients for comfort, emotional support

"She's spreading the love of God one by one at a time," her mother, Jeri Ann Summerville said.
Credit: Raquel Torres - Tyler Morning Telegraph
BreAnn Benson delivers bags filled with stuffed teddy bears to patients at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.

TYLER, Texas — When BreAnn Besnon was only 7 years old, doctors found a tumor in her brain. Five surgeries later and after showing caregivers she had the will to live, BreAnn now visits local hospitals to give out teddy bears, sharing her message that has bigger purpose.

During her time in the hospital, BreAnn received 25 teddy bears.

The stuffed animals gave her comfort and emotional support, but when her mother Jeri Ann Summerville had surgery, BreAnn noticed her mother didn’t get any stuffed animals.

It was that moment BreAnn decided to create a charity, Bre's Bears, where she made it her mission to deliver teddy bears to adults so they feel the same support she once did. Since 2017, her charity has brought joy to hundreds of hospitalized patients.

"She's spreading the love of God one by one at a time," Summerville said.

BreAnn explained why she continues her mission, no matter what comes her way.

"Because of COVID, some people don't have anyone to come see them because they don't let most people in. Some people just want that comfort and that love because some of their family might be gone or some people don't come up and see them anymore," BreAnn said.

Now 12 years old and healthy, she’s found a way to help others that were once in the same position was in.

Read more from our newspaper partners, the Tyler Morning Telegraph.