Conn. girl with rare disease invents teddy bears to hide IV bags
Ella Casano's Medi Teddy is a stuffed animal designed to cover and conceal an IV bag
FAIRFIELD, CONN (FOX 5 NY) - Ella Casano, 12, is pretty familiar with needles.
She has been diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, also known as ITP, a disease with no cure that kills platelets in her blood. To treat the condition, every eight weeks she must spend a day hooked up to an IV to receive an infusion of medicine.
After seeing how scary the treatment experience could be for her and other young patients, Ella created the Medi Teddy, a stuffed animal pouch that conceals and covers an IV bag.
"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," Ella wrote on her 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."
Ella has already received a patent and has a manufacturing company to create the stuffed animals but has begun a GoFundMe to help her meet the minimum initial order of 500.
Ella's family is in the process of applying Medi Teddy to get IRS approval to become a nonprofit, according to the GoFundMe page. She plans to donate the first 500 bears to children like her.
"I hope that Medi Teddy helps you just as much as it helps me!" Elle wrote.