Lavender teddy bears invade Brisbane

Brisbanites had the opportunity to add to their teddy bear collections this week, with lavender bears on sale to support the Leukaemia Foundation.

The bears and other lavender gifts were sold to support the annual Lavender for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma appeal, held every June.

Volunteers wearing lavender took to the streets throughout the city to sell the $8 bears, this year named “Lila” (pictured left, with Miranda).

Volunteer Emma Weiss, who has been involved in the appeal since its launch six years ago, estimated 150 bears had been sold at Central train station alone.

“Each year there is a new bear,” she said. “We notice that the same people come back each year. They collect the bears.”

The foundation’s chief executive, Peter Johnstone, joined the volunteers to sell bears in the city.

“We’re aiming to raise $200,000 during the whole campaign,” he said. Sales of the bears contribute $1100 to this goal.

The non-for-profit Foundation provides emotional support, accommodation and practical assistance for those suffering from leukaemia.

“With 2000 Queenslanders expected to be diagnosed with a blood cancer this year, our services continue to be stretched to the limit,” Mr Johnstone said.

Jamie Meaclem, who was diagnosed with leukaemia early last year, says the Leukaemia Foundation provides invaluable support for the family.

“It’s not just money but the support,” he said. “They always come into the hospital and talk to people.

He also said the Foundation provided education services.

“[Their support] is not just for me – but for the other kids and their parents… They sent people to my school to educate them about leukaemia.”

To find out more or to make a donation, go to

2 Responses to “Lavender teddy bears invade Brisbane”
  1. Jan says:

    Why not make the finding out out of information, regarding where to buy these lavender bears, a lot more easier for it only rates a scant mention on the Australian leukemia website. This is a very poor effort to get the public on board, indeed. Your promoters are abysmal.
    If you want people who live quite a distance from your office or the Royal Brisbane Hospital (should they be available for sale there?) to buy a bear or two, how can they possibly do so?
    Furthermore, why not have these worthwhile, lovely bears available for sale at all government public hospitals?

  2. Peter Johnstone says:

    In response to Jan’s comments on the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland’s annual Lavender for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma campaign, I can advise that our fundraising teddy bears, pens, bookmarks, pot-pourri and soaps are being sold through around 430 outlets across the state.
    They are available at various retailers, CUA branches, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology offices, QML Pathology branches, Fernwood gyms, Fitness First gyms, and Bridgestone Australia tyre centres.
    As Newsbytes highlighted, Foundation volunteers were also on CBD streets on Wednesday 8 June selling lavender goods.
    We had more than 50 such dedicated individuals doing something positive to assist patients and their families as well as support medical research into blood cancers.
    It is unfortunate Jan was not aware of our campaign, so thanks Newsbytes for covering it.
    We make every effort to publicise the campaign, but our resources do not stretch to costly paid advertising.
    That money is better spent on patients we support and researchers seeking better treatments and cures.
    However, now that Jan knows of our campaign and if she wants to support those the Foundation helps, she can phone 1800 620 420 and buy directly from us.
    We would also welcome Jan and any other readers of Newsbytes as volunteer sellers of our teddy bears and other fundraising items in 2012.

    Peter Johnstone
    Chief Executive Officer
    Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland

Leave A Comment

News by Email