A Girl With A Rare Disease Invented This Adorable Teddy Bear IV Bag Cover For Kids Getting Medical Treatments
This is such a sweet idea.
A young girl with a rare disease who has to endure repeated treatments in a medical center has set out to make the experience way more comfortable — and not just for herself, but for other children.
Twelve-year-old Ella Casano was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenia purura, a disease in which her body attacks the platelets in her blood. Doctors said hers is a very rare case of ITP because Ella didn’t grow out of it.
Ella has to receive treatments through an IV every other month in order to increase her body’s amount of platelets. She doesn’t like how medical and sterile things feel as she endures those treatments, and she noticed other children felt the same way. So Casano invented the “Medi Teddy.”
The Medi Teddy is a teddy bear cover to hang over an IV bag at the top of the metal pole from which it hangs. It hides the plastic and liquid with something more visually pleasing for children.
“When I had my first infusion, I was a little bit intimidated by the look of the amount of tubing and medical equipment on my IV pole,” Ella says on the website. “As I saw more and more children experiencing the same feelings, I became more interested in creating a friendlier experience for young IV patients, so I created Medi Teddy.”
Here’s Ella at the hospital in 2015, as posted to the @medi_teddy Instagram.
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These photos are of me getting IVs at the hospital in 2015, when I was 8. I remember feeling afraid of the look of the medical equipment. Thank you to everyone who donated to Medi Teddy. We are almost half way to our goal of helping 500 kids in the hospital who might feel this way too. #medi_teddy #yalenewhavenchildrenshospital #kidsinhospital
Ella’s family is selling the Medi Teddy online. While it is not yet available to be shipped — the family is still waiting on nonprofit approval status — pre-orders are being taken. If you’d like to purchase one for yourself or a loved one, these cute little plushies cost $19.99.
The family has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to get Medi Teddys produced and purchased for at least 500 pediatric patients who might need one. They don’t want anyone to have to buy their own, if possible.
The GoFundMe had a goal of raising $5,000 and has well exceeded that goal, through the efforts of hundreds of donors. Maybe we can all chip in and provide some peace of mind to the pediatric patients who need this tiny reminder they are loved?
Here’s Ella with one of her Medi Teddys, as posted to Instagram:
The item has gotten so popular, the Casano family is currently asking customers to help them decide what other animal designs should be created to go over IV bags. They indicated on Instagram that possible options include a dragon, penguin, polar bear or lion.
Ella, if you’re reading this, maybe find inspiration from this popular little lady: Fiona the hippo. Having overcome medical challenges herself as a premature infant, Cincinnati Zoo’s star mammal might be perfect for encouraging others, too!
What a great invention and a great cause! We can’t wait to hear more about the Medi Teddy and Ella’s endeavors.