Jerry the Bear has diabetes. He needs your help to maintain his blood sugar and be injected with insulin when he eats food, like chicken and fish. He has cool sites to inject his insulin and has a lot of friends who wish they had met him years earlier.
The bear was created by Hannah Chung, who lost her grandfather to Type 2 diabetes, and Aaron Horowitz, who was diagnosed with Human Growth Hormone Deficiency and had to take shots for four years. Both sympathetic to the cause found it equally important to focus on the issue of children learning how to maintain their health as they grow up.
The screen in the middle of his belly displays information about his health, kind of like our pumps, and he laughs when tickled. Similar to the diabetic Barbie, which I wrote about a couple of blogs ago, this bear teaches children how to deal with their health through this model toy, actively keeping him healthy as they learn to keep themselves healthy.
Can I get on the list for this? If I could have learned the consequences, cause and effect relationship between my food and my blood sugar earlier in life, I think it would have been better. Regardless, I think this is a great idea created by two incredibly intelligent individuals, both students at Northwestern University.
Because I'm a Twitter stalker, I looked them both up. That and I read all about them, thanks to previous press coverage. It's not enough to say that they're progressive and motivated thinkers.
Hannah's bio reads:
Social Entrepreneur // Artist // Maker // Ocean Lover
And their tweets talk about Jerry, mostly, of which they are both pretty passionate.
In Other News:
There have always been talk of the artificial pancreas getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. What is the artificial pancreas, you ask? Well, it's basically what a lot of us Type 1 people are on now: a pump with a continuous glucose monitoring system. The difference between these gadgets and the AP is that we still have to manually push buttons to get it to work. Though my pump and CGMS communicate and tell me my blood sugar levels, I still have to keep an eye on it and tell my pump to give me my insulin.
With the AP, no more! Well, what they were working on were the proper algorithms. See, the AP is meant to work without any manual intervention. You would be hooked up to a CGMS and a pump, but you wouldn't have to touch them in order to receive insulin. The CGMS would tell your pump to give you insulin when you needed it and that would be that.
The other day, I was alerted to the fact that we're a step closer to seeing this all become a reality.
JDRF funded researchers at the University of Virginia have gained federal approval for the next key testing phase – the first outpatient APP trials in the United States - for a cell phone-based artificial pancreas developed through the AP Consortium. The trials will be similar to those being conducted in Europe and showing promising results.
With all the technology that's coming our way, we're all going to be robots! On that note, I would like to announce, because I already did above, that I now have a CGMS monitoring system and the thing is beeping me through a living hell! But on the other hand, it's very cool to be able to see blood sugar levels without callousing up my fingers any more.