What is the Shadow Buddies Foundation?

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Our History

Inspired by her son who wanted a friend “just like me”; Marty Postlethwait founded the Shadow Buddies Foundation in September of 1995. Miles, her son, was born with multiple congenital birth defects that had him in and out of the hospital since he was born.
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Our Mission

The mission of the Shadow Buddies Foundation is to provide emotional support through education regarding illness, disability, or medical treatments. The Buddy can help increase compassion and understanding while spanning the gap between treatment and awareness.
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Our Programs

The foundation hosts a variety of unique programs designed to enhance the lives of children and adults and increase compassion and understanding of differences. Through the funds raised by these programs, we provide Shadow Buddies to hospitals and organizations at no charge and much more.

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The Shadow Buddies Foundation


ChildrensMillerHospThe Shadow Buddies Foundation provides emotional support and education to children and families in times of need. We provide therapeutic Shadow Buddies dolls to children suffering from a variety of illnesses, disabilities and medical treatments. To date, we have distributed more than 840,000 condition-specific buddies to children and families in all 50 states and in 16 countries.

Shadow Buddies, “Just Like Me”

Hospitalization can be a frightening and lonely experience for a child. Our Shadow Buddies are designed to be a friend “just like me,” allowing children to feel like there is a friend who understands his or her condition. Our buddies are soft and comforting, and each buddy is specifically designed to be a teaching tool, too–many of our buddies assist medical professionals in helping children understand their prognosis and treatment.

View the Shadow Buddies scrapbook!