Stuffed animals with a special meaning

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Losing a child can be devastating for parents, especially when the child is young. That's why one Lincoln woman has started a program to spread comfort to families and help them heal from their loss.

Beca Kucera donates teddy bears and other animals for families in the Bryan Women's and Children's Hospital. It's what she puts inside them that is so special.

She calls them B-Buddies and hand stuffs them with love and weights.

"We take the stuffing out of them and then we add our weighted beads and other packets to them to make them a specific weight," said Kucera.

The weight she puts in the animals correlates to the weight of a baby, so that mothers who loose an infant have something similar to hold onto.

"This one is actually a half pound bear and these are for our losses that are generally less than 20 weeks and then they go up from there," said Kucera.

Kucera started making these bears for families after she lost a son at 31 weeks in September 2015.

"Leaving the hospital without your baby, walking these halls, is one of the hardest things," said Kucera.

For Kucera she clung to a stuffed animal monkey and put weights in him so that he was 3 pounds 11 ounces, just like her son Bryson.

"It's really nice just having something to hold, on the really hard days especially," said Kucera.

Monkey gave Becca so much comfort, she wanted other moms to know they aren't alone.

"You know they're not expecting this gift, it's something that they're offered when they have their loss. So, some of them will just cling to these bears, just as it's holding the place of their baby when their baby is no longer able to be with them," said Kucera.

The program is at Bryan Health, and if a family experiences a loss, the Women's and Children's Hospital lets them pick out an animal to their liking. They pick, animal, size, and weight.

"So, having this little weighted comfort, is a little bit better than leaving with empty arms," said Kucera.

For more information the group is called B-Buddies and always can use volunteer "stuffers".