Myer’s 2018 Christmas Bear has been named ‘Anthony’, in honour of a former Young Canberran Citizen of the Year, Dainere Anthoney.
Dainere, an avid collector of the Myer Christmas bears, lost her life to brain cancer in 2013 and her parents Yvonne and Stephen Anthoney say it is “truly moving” to have the bear named in her honour.
“Really, words don’t do justice to how much this has deeply touched the family. For Myer to be honouring Dainere’s significant special connection with the Myer Christmas bears, particularly Theodore (the 2002 bear), and the selfless, passionate, tireless and inspiring work she did in the community to make a difference for others is just absolutely extraordinary.”
Dainere was committed to raising funds and awareness for paediatric brain tumours, and her family continue her work through the Dainere’s Rainbow Brain Tumour Research Fund, supporting the work of Associate Professor David Zeigler in developing and testing new treatments for children with incurable cancers.
A Myer spokesperson says the company was contacted earlier this year in relation to Dainere’s journey and how her love and connection with her collection of Myer Christmas bears supported her through her illness.
“Dainere’s heart-warming story of strength, optimism and her continued drive to support other children battling illness touched us all. Her story re-enforced that for so many children the Myer Christmas Bear is more than just a bear.”
Dainere’s collection began in 1998, the year she was born, and has continued every year since, with the Anthoney family continuing to collect the bears. Dainere was buried with Theodore (the 2002 bear).
“They had many special adventures together and when she was diagnosed with brain cancer, it was Theodore who was by her side,” Yvonne says.
“He was able to be there for Dainere always and sometimes was able to be with her where no one else could go; an example of this was going into surgeries and radiation.”
Dainere’s sister Nalani says it is “special and amazing” to have the bear named in her sister’s honour.
“She would feel honoured as her Myer Christmas Bear collection meant so much to her.”
“Everyone has things that they love and collect, and for Dainere it was the Myer Christmas bears,” adds Dainere’s brother, Jarrett.
“It wouldn’t have been Christmas morning if Dainere didn’t receive the Myer Christmas Bear from Santa!”
The bears are now available in Myer stores nationally, with $1 from the sale of each to be donated to the Myer Community Fund.