Jerry The Bear helps children with diabetes

Jerry The Bear helps children with diabetes
Image credit: Jerry the Bear

Stuffed animals can be great companions for children. We already know that. But stuffies like Jerry the Bear can help children manage diabetes more easily.

Jerry the Bear is a creation of the company Sproutel which is based in Rhode Island. Founders of the company are Aaron Horowitz and Hannah Chung. They started Sproutel as  school project at Northwestern University in their junior year, 630wpro reports.

Chung has a family history of type 2 diabetes and Horowitz pent his youth self-injecting human growth hormone to compensate for a deficiency. So they both know how challenging, difficult and scary can healthcare be for a child and decided to change that.

So, after more than four years of development and 29 iterations, Jerry the Bear was born. Last year the cute teddy bear had a very successfull crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and raised $50 744 dollars – a total of 231% more than needed.

Jerry the Bear is focused on helping children with type 1 diabetes. Aaron and Hannah say they noiced that children suffering from this disease were treating their stuffed animals differently than other kids. “They’d ‘inject’ their teddy bears, they’d prick their fingers, they’d draw little insulin pumps on pieces of paper. It kind of surprised us,” Horowitz said.So Horowitz and Chung set out to create a stuffed animal that was comforting and fun, but also educational.

Children help Jerry train for the All Star Games through a sequence of 21 animated storybooks that play on his touchscreen. After each storybook, new tasks get assigned that must be completed to unlock more content.

While playing children also learn a lot. They learn how to plan meals, they learn about carb free foods, learn to regularly check blood sugar levels and rotate injection sites and so on.

When Jerry’s blood sugar level goes high or low, Jerry speaks his symptoms, encouraging kids to recognize how they feel.

Jerry comes with 10 food cards and an insulin pen. Children can feed Jerry by swiping foods over his mouth, check his blood sugar level by squeezing his fingers, and give him insulin using either the included insulin pen or the pump on his screen. This also teaches them to be able to take care of themselves, too. All of the accessories come with a neat backpack, that Jerry can carry.

The teddy bears are assembled in Phoenix, AZ. They cost $299 dollars and are on backorder. Sadly you can order them only within the USA with up to three weeks shipping time. But we are sure you can find a friend who can order one and then send it outside of the US if needed.

Jerry is made with asthma friendly fabric and is easy to clean. The toy features an lithium-ion rechargeable battery and a micro-USB cord.