(WSVN) - A South Florida girl was inspired to think pink for a good cause. Now, she’s turning a passion project into a worldwide phenomenon.
“My mom had breast cancer, and I wanted to do something in honor of her,” said Alivia Gustman.
Alivia is a little girl with big dreams.
The then 7-year-old turned a school project based on the TV show “Shark Tank” into a thriving non-profit called Cancer Bears.
“So then, I decided to make a poster board, and it became real one day ’cause when my dad came home, I said, ‘Dad, I really wanna do this. Can we make it real one day?’ Then, he made it real, and now we’re here,” Alivia said.
That poster board outlined how she would go about selling the teddy bears to help cancer patients and those coping with someone they know who has the disease.
“You can go on the website and choose a colored ribbon, so we have all these different colors,” Alivia said. “It’s Breast Cancer Awareness so most people choose the pink one.”
For Alivia, this passion project was personal.
Her mother, Tara Gustman, was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer when she was 34 years old, and after going through years of treatment and surgeries, she will be a three-year survivor this December.
“Since this whole project has launched, it has been just so inspiring and empowering to see such a small act of kindness with a bear go a long way,” Tara said.
It’s an act of kindness that shows no signs of slowing down.
“People are being diagnosed every day and just the support and to be able to contribute and donate money to make a difference, as far as I am concerned, all of this advocating in bears is just going to go such a long way,” said Tara.
Alivia, who turns nine on Saturday, has already sold more than 500 bears across 24 states and four countries. She has raised more than $10,000 for charity, so far.
You can purchase your own Cancer Bear by visiting their website.
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