When Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George was just six years old, his mother suffered a stroke.
That traumatic situation is what is motivating George to unveil his "Super Buddy" doll.
The Paul George Foundation announced the "Super Buddy" on Sunday night, and the foundation will donate 700 "Super Buddy" dolls to EMSA, that will be stocked in more than 90 ambulances in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa area.
The dolls will be given to children in emergency situations to give them comfort and emotional support during stressful times.
“My mother’s stroke and seeing those first responders is a very important and sensitive topic for me,” George said. “Up to that point, I had never seen an ambulance and it was a confusing and tough time. I’m lucky to be in a position to pay it forward and to be able to help those who need support in times of crisis.
The doll was created by the Shadow Buddies Foundation, which was founded in 1995 to give smiles and hope to children dealing with medical challenges.
“Regardless of any illness they may have or situation they face, our Shadow Buddies let children know they are never alone, that they have a friend, a buddy,” said Marty Postlethwait, the CEO and founder of the Shadow Buddies Foundation. “Paul George faced fear and uncertainty with his mother’s stroke and understands that having a buddy provides comfort and something tangible that they could hold onto in that moment and even for a lifetime.”
“We understand what it is like to be with people in their most vulnerable and frightening time during a medical emergency. Any source of comfort is so greatly appreciated whether it is for the patient or family members. These Shadow Buddies will be a great comfort at the time and beyond as a reminder that someone was there for them and helped them in their trying time,” said James Winham, chief executive officer, EMSA. “We are happy and appreciative to partner with the Paul George Foundation and Shadow Buddies Foundation to bring these dolls to our patients and families in Oklahoma.”