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March 02, 2022

MinMinBear Foundation Announces Partnership with Natera to Provide Comfort and Support to Kidney Patients

Teddy Bears and Children’s Activity Book Aim to Advocate, Comfort and Educate in Time for National Kidney Awareness Month and National Donate Life Month

LOS ANGELES: March 2, 2022 – Today, MinMinBear Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, announces a partnership with Natera to help comfort kidney patients. This partnership includes the launch of the A.C.E. Campaign featuring the newest MinMinBear, a teddy bear named A.C.E., who symbolizes the organization’s mission to Advocate, Comfort and Educate about kidney disease and organ donation. The new A.C.E. Bear was created specifically in honor of Kidney Disease Awareness Month (March) and National Donate Life Month (April). It comes with an accompanying 16-page children’s coloring and activity book that helps explain the process of kidney disease from diagnosis to transplant for children in need and their parents or caregivers. 

MinMinBear Foundation was launched in 2020 with the original three bears- MinMinBear™, AlbieBear™, and WinskiBear™-  representing the patient, donor, and support system by Founder, Rachelle McCray. McCray is a known TV Personality (QVC, Arizona Living, CelebTV) and former Miss Arizona United States and Arizona Cardinals NFL cheerleader. She is also herself a kidney patient and was inspired to start the charity in honor of her mother, who is currently one of 100,000 people waiting for a life saving kidney on the transplant list.

This partnership with Natera represents the next phase of the organization whose mission is to reach and maximize support for as many patients as possible. To date, MinMinBear has already gifted more than 6,000 bears to those in need of comfort and emotional support across hospitals and transplant centers nationwide. This partnership will launch in honor of World Kidney Day (March 10, 2022) and be ongoing. With the help of Natera over 2,600 kits will be distributed during the months of March and April to patients and their families who suffer from kidney disease. An estimated 1 in 7 Americans are currently living with chronic kidney disease in the United States. Through this partnership, dialysis centers, nephrology offices, children’s hospitals and child life teams across the country will receive a kit.

“I can not express the feeling of receiving a letter or message from a patient or parent who has received a MinMinBear. This small gesture has truly changed their perspective and outlook on their kidney journey. Many children go to every appointment with their favorite teddy by their side, making them feel less alone and more confident on this health journey. The expansion of the book allows both the child and support system to be educated on the process. The opportunity to partner with Natera and elevate our mission to reach more families in need of comfort and support is truly a blessing,” said Rachelle McCray, Founder. 

Natera is a global leader in cell-free DNA testing, including applications for organ health, oncology, and women’s health. Their work aims to make personalized genetic testing and diagnostics part of the standard of care to protect health and enable earlier, more targeted interventions that help lead to longer, healthier lives.

“Natera is pleased to partner with MinMinBear Foundation to educate and comfort communities affected by kidney disease,” said Bernie Tobin, general manager, organ health at Natera. “We look forward to future collaborations that will make a positive impact in the lives of kidney patients.” 

To get involved and help patients and families affected by kidney disease, visit www.minminbearfoundation.org  You can donate a bear to a child directly, donate monetarily each month, or become a business partner with the foundation to bring more kits around the country through a one time or ongoing partnership.  

About MinMinBear Foundation

MinMinBear Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps patients affected by kidney disease and organ donation. The Foundation was created by a former QVC Host, and former NFL Cheerleader, Rachelle McCray, who also suffers from kidney disease.  McCray’s mother is currently one of the 100,000 people awaiting a lifesaving kidney transplant and is the inspiration behind the foundation.  The daily mission of the MinMinBear team is to fill the void of comfort that so many patients need, while also teaching patients and their families about the importance of advocating for themselves and their kidney care. The MinMinBear Foundation explains the kidney journey through teddy bears they have created where each bear plays a critical role and has their place in a patient’s kidney story. 

The A.C.E Campaign, launching for National Kidney Awareness Month (March), was created to help kidney patients and their families champion and take control of their own health journeys.  A.C.E. (Advocate, Comfort and Educate) are the three pillars of the MinMinBear Foundation and lead what drives their mission every day. The campaign features an A.C.E kit which is being gifted to doctors’ offices, dialysis centers and children’s transplant centers across the country.  Each kit will include: an activity book to learn more about the kidney health journey, a bear named A.C.E. to bring comfort and educational resources that help the patient learn more about options that can personalize their care. The A.C.E.Bear kits are gifted on behalf of the MinMinBear Foundation thanks to the donation sponsorship and partnership from Natera.