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Teen provides cuddly comfort to sick children

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By Nicole Lapin
CNN
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(CNN) -- If you've been in the hospital or had a family member or friend there, you know how lonely and scary it can be. Once visiting hours are over, the levity and the hugs stop. But, if it were up to Taylor Crabtree, the hugs would last all night.

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Taylor Crabtree hopes to send 30,000 teddy bears to children in hospitals across the U.S. by September.

When Taylor was 7 years old she started TayBear. Like many little girls, Taylor and her friends made hairclips to sell for extra money. But instead of spending it on herself, she used that extra money to buy teddy bears for kids hospitalized with cancer and chronic blood diseases.

Taylor knew little about starting a business, but understood the heartbreak of cancer from her grandmother's battle with the disease.

"I thought, if it's that hard for my grandmother to go through, it must be so much harder for little kids," she said.

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Taylor's goal was to buy 50 bears for her local hospital. But, she couldn't resist the letters from kids (and kids at heart) asking her for more bears to hug at night. Now 17, Taylor has donated nearly 21,000 teddy bears to Hematology/Oncology departments across the country.Video Watch Taylor's CNN.com Live interview »

"I've always loved teddy bears," Taylor said. "I thought teddy bears would be the best things to use to help children with cancer be comforted and get through some of the hard times they're going through." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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