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Helping Hands – Shadow Buddies

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Shadow Buddies™ – Special Buddies for Special Children



Inspired by her son, who wanted a friend “just like me,” Marty Postlethwait founded the Shadow Buddies Foundation in September 1995. Miles, her son, was born with multiple congenital birth defects that had him in and out of the hospital since he was born. During one of his many hospital stays, Miles told his mom and dad that he wanted a “Buddy” that had defects similar to his that could help ease his feelings of loneliness and fear. So Marty took action and with the help of Miles, developed the first Shadow Buddy.


Shadow Buddies are condition-specific dolls that provide educational and emotional support to thousands of children and adults who are ill, medically challenged or experiencing any type of physical or emotional trauma. Marty and Miles chose to call them Shadow Buddies because, just like your shadow, these buddies will always be by your side. What started with four Shadow Buddies has now grown to include more than 26 different condition-specific Buddies and celebrity Buddies that bring smiles to children in all 50 states and 19 countries. Shadow Buddies are available in light, medium and dark skin tones and are for both boys and girls.


The mission of the Shadow Buddies Foundation is to provide emotional support through education regarding illness, disability or medical treatments. The foundation accomplishes this mainly through unique programs designed to enhance the lives of children and adults and to increase the compassion and understanding of others’ differences. In pursuit of that mission, the foundation will continually raise funds, develop new programs and build relationships between organizations with complementary goals.


As 2015 saw the foundation celebrate 20 years of positively impacting the lives of children, seniors and their families and the delivery of the ONE MILLIONTH Shadow Buddy, Marty knew she needed to do something big to commemorate their 20th anniversary. The foundation introduced the Super Hero Buddy Program! Through the end of 2015, every Shadow Buddy ordered, donated and delivered will come with a super hero cape and mask, because at Shadow Buddies they believe that every child is a Super Hero! The program has proven to be a huge hit with children, their families and medical professionals who use Shadow Buddies.  Stay tuned to see what they have planned for their Super Hero Program in 2016!


After 20 years of spreading “Miles of Smiles” to children everywhere, the foundation wanted to celebrate in a big way! They hosted a Roaring ’20s Gala” on September 18 at the Crown Center Exhibit Hall and it was a night of flappers, fellas and folly! Special guest and longtime Shadow Buddies supporter Tony Gonzalez was there to honor Marty, Miles and the foundation’s Board of Directors and staff for their commitment to the mission and their dedication to enhancing current programs while introducing new ones.


Shadow Buddies aren’t just for kids! They offer Senior Buddies, Guardian Angel Buddies and Survivor/Breast Cancer Buddies! The Survivor Buddy offers women with breast cancer a special Buddy of their very own! Not only does the Survivor Buddy provide comfort to women but it also provides them with an educational tool that can be used to explain body changes to their children and families. For more information, visit or call 913-642-4646. HLM