Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in late 1992 by Kathleen A. Casey, CEO/President. The foundation is named in memory of her eight-year-old son, Barrett "Bear" Krupa, who died after a courageous five and a half year battle with Wilms Tumor, a pediatric cancer.
Prior to his death on January 9, 1993, Bear and his mother discussed and planned the formation of Bear Necessities. During his long stay in the hospital, Bear expressed more concern for other pediatric cancer patients than he did for himself. He and his mother learned of the many hidden needs of both patient and family members. Simple things like having games to play with would go a long way to lightening the heavy burden the children face. Likewise, support for basic family needs such as transportation and parking on the many visits to the hospital remove undue stresses on an already overwhelming situation.
When Bear Necessities founder Kathleen Casey analyzed the organization’s volunteer base, she saw an opportunity to further the Bear Necessities mission through the energy of Chicago’s young professional community. She contacted a small group of dedicated Bear Necessities volunteers, and together they set into motion the Auxiliary Board of Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Inc. The common goal was simple: identify emerging community leaders and charge them with delivering the Bear Necessities message to their peers. This group stands ready to raise awareness, generate financial support and extend the Bear Necessities network