FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — “When I was 7, I was diagnosed with a platelet disorder called ITP,” says Ella Casano, noting that the auto-immune disease, involving a high risk of bleeding, requires her to have IV infusions every 6 to 8 weeks.
“At my first IV, I noticed the bag of fluids was really intimidating and since then I’ve seen lots of other kids who also find it intimidating, as well,” she says.
So, for her 5th grade Invention Convention, Ella got personal, creating a solution for a situation that once scared her.
“I was in my room and I took a stuffed penguin and I cut it up and glued some mesh on,” she explains.
The penguin prototype became a patented product called Medi Teddy. The bag of fluid is tucked into a mesh pouch.
“The Medi Teddy is hung up on an IV pole with the bag of medication so that from the front it looks like that,” says Ella, showing off a cute bear that disguises the medical equipment.
In June, the now 13-year-old turned to Go Fund Me to raise $5,000 to manufacture her idea. She exceeded her goal by an astounding $19,000.
“We don’t really know other families like us who have a child who goes through something chronically for years,” says mom Meg who believes receiving pictures and testimonials, from other parents and kids who love Medi Teddy, is motivational.
“It’s actually been really great for us to have emails from people all over the world who are encouraging us and giving great feedback about Ella’s invention.”
Now, the Casano’s dining room has become ‘Medi Teddy Central’, filled with hundreds of bears which will be donated to children who need a smile and some warmth.
“I hope this is something I can continue to work on for years to come. Our ultimate goal is that every child who wants a Medi Teddy is able to have one,” says Ella.
The Fairfield teen is thinking about adding to her product line. Perhaps we’ll see different sized bears or even a new animal design in the future.
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