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A special benefit this week benefits the Shadow Buddies Foundation, a local non-profit group that helps kids cope with unimaginable health issues. 24 years ago, Marty Postlethwait made the first “shadow buddy” for her son, Miles, who was born with congenital health issues

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Buddies’ are dolls designed to give sick children a friend who can share their journey. “Whether a child is battling cancer or has a heart defect, or maybe has a respiratory issue, the buddies have the same condition as the child. So we try to give them something that they can relate to,” Postlethwait explained. The Shadow Buddies Foundation works to make lives a little brighter during dark times. The group is responsible for making 40 to 60 thousand dolls every year. “I think the best kept secret is that we’re just not here in Kansas City,” Postlethwait continued. “We are in 178 hospitals worldwide, and in 19 different countries. So our love and hope and joy we try to give kids reaches internationally.”