NAMPA, Idaho — COVID-19 has been hard on everybody. For kids battling life-limiting illnesses, the pandemic has been especially isolating. A company and a non-profit partnered up and decided to help ease some of the loneliness.
Savannah Johnson is 16-years old and lives in Nampa, Idaho. Johnson was diagnosed with stage IV Leukemia and Lymphoma at just nine-years-old, so she's no stranger to health concerns. She's suffered relapses and a bone marrow transplant, remission, even a recent scare.
Johnson was one of two dozen kids in three different states to receive a custom creation, built to her exact specifications.
"We have the privilege of bringing kids' imaginations to life with stuffed animals," said Alex Furmansky, Founder & CEO of Budsies.
For the past few years, Budsies has partnered with Ladybug House, a non-profit supporting kids with life-limiting illnesses. Volunteers spent the day, delivering each box door to door. Then each kid unboxed their stuffed animals at a Zoom party to cheers and tears and maybe, most importantly - hugs.
"Above the fabric and above the stuffing is our mission. And that is to make the world more huggable," said Furmansky.
The Zoom party may be over, but the pandemic is not. Johnson says just knowing she's not alone makes her feel all warm and fuzzy.