Patient Stories

Donor Spotlight: Spreading Joy!

Patients in Family Maternity Suites receives heartfelt donation

Three days before Christmas, 10-year-old twins Gavin and Carter Simmons stopped by Memorial Medical Center to donate two dozen brand-new stuffed animals to our patients in Family Maternity Suites.

As we were rereading the history of Emery’s bear drive, we realized he was in fifth grade when he started – that is the same grade my boys are in now,” Lisa said. “It just seemed fitting to expand the drive to Illinois, especially to this area where Lori grew up."

The Simmons boys live in Chatham and decided to join Team Emery, a non-profit organization based in Arizona that has donated more than 25,000 stuffed bears and other animals to more than two dozen hospitals in nine states. Team Emery was started in 2010 by then-fifth-grader Emery Miller, who underwent four open heart surgeries before the age of 7. Emery is now a college baseball player.

So what’s the connection to central Illinois? Gavin’s and Carter’s mom, Lisa, and Emery’s mom, Lori Miller, have been friends since they attended junior high school in Chatham.