Ella Casano with rare disease invents teddy bears that hide IV bags.
Being in the hospital can be scary for anyone, but especially for kids.
Ella Casano, 12, has to be hooked up to an IV every eight weeks for treatment of her chronic illness.
Ella has been diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, also known as ITP. The condition kills platelets in her blood. Her website says Ella will never be cured, but her condition can be treated.
Since she knows how intimidating the process can be, she developed a way to make IVs seem less scary for kids.
Ella invented the Medi Teddy, a pouch on the back of a teddy bear that holds either IV bags or bottles.
“When I had my first infusion, I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by the look of the amount of tubing and medical equipment on my IV pole. 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. I hope that Medi Teddy helps you just as much as it helps me!” Ella posted on her website.
Ella has patented the stuffed animal and already has prototypes for it, but she needs a minimum of 500 units before the first order can go out.
To help raise money for the venture, her family started a GoFundMe campaign.
According to the GoFundMe page, Ella’s family is in the process of applying Medi Teddy to get IRS approval to become a 501(c)3. Once all the bears are made, Ella plans to give them away to children going through treatment in hospitals.