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Meet Ted, the travelling bear
MEET Ted – the cuddly toy who’s notched up thousands of miles across the globe.
But his incredible journey is not a result of a quirky game between friends, it’s the brain child of Sue Ward to raise awareness of a rare condition.
Sue, 50, from Suffolk Avenue, Shirley, suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease – a condition that affects the muscle tissue and touch sensation on the body.
It affects one in 2,500 people in the UK.
Now Ted is now on a journey visiting families across the world hit by CMT in an attempt to bring the condition to the fore.
Wearing a CMT T-shirt, Ted has been snapped in New York City, snow covered Pennsylvania, and Australia zoo.
From what started as an idea on Facebook, Sue says she has been overwhelmed by how the project has taken off.
Ted in London
She said: “It was a year ago last Easter when I was trying to think of ways for people to become aware of CMT.
“I saw a school kid in America was collecting post cards from around the world. I thought about sending a bear around the world.
“I put the idea on Facebook and within six hours I had more than 100 replies from people saying they would do it.
“Lots of people have been getting in touch, especially in the USA.
“We had done half of the UK and as luck would have it one of the women he was going to stay with was going out to Australia to see her parents, who also have CMT.
“They did Australia and then he flew out to the USA.”
Ted in Australia
Ted has been with 11 different families in the UK, with 30 more to go.
He is also due to go to 77 households in the USA, and has trips scheduled to France, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Norway, and South Africa.
He is currently with a family in Dayton, Washington.
Sue has had symptoms of CMT for the past two years. Her youngest son James, 27, has had symptoms since he was 16.
She says she will be happy if just one more person knows about the condition as a result of the journey.
“We know it’s already working because when people take him out, taking all these photos at the weirdest places, people ask them why they are doing it."
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