Jerry the Bear helps kids manage diabetes

A stuffed animal named Jerry the Bear might be a source of comfort for children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The techy teddy's sole purpose is to teach kids how to manage their condition and become experts on how to take care of themselves.

"Kids can take care of Jerry by swiping food cards over his mouth to feed him, squeezing his fingers to check his blood sugar level and giving him insulin with a pen or pump on the bear’s screen," reports Alexandra Bahou from WXYZ Detroit.

Jerry can also count carbs, help with meal planning, and enable kids to understand the correlation between food and insulin.

How it started

Jerry's creators are currently raising money for the project on IndieGoGo.

The idea came when the team was interviewing families with children that had type 1 diabetes and they noticed something interesting:

Children with T1D were pretending to inject their stuffed animals with insulin, pricked their fingers to check their blood sugar, and even stapled hand-drawn insulin pumps to their fur. Children were projecting their emotions onto their teddies, and using them to cope with the range of lifestyle changes they were faced with. So we asked ourselves, what if we could really bring this behavior to life? And what if we could make it educational?

Jerry's purpose is to allow children, through play, to practice dealing with real-world scenarios, the creators said.

The bear has been tested in over 350 families, and the creators hope to reach their next financial milestone in order to complete another production run.

One parent said, "We just gave Jerry to our daughter 2 weeks ago. Already she has learned how to understand her highs and lows based on Jerry's highs and lows. Now she wants to take her own blood sugar and asks a lot of questions."

To donate to the Jerry the Bear project, visit the company's fundraising page.

Source: WXYZ Detroit

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