Move over, Build-A-Bear


Some ideas are so genious, you wonder why no one thought of it sooner. 

Monday, I stumbled across Jerry the Bear while trolling twitter (yes, social media works). Jerry the Bear has Type 1 diabetes and was created to help young children learn how to check blood sugar, count carbs and match insulin doses, and treat hypoglycemia.

I admit here to being a little jealous that Jerry checks his blood sugar simply by having a friend press a fingertip (no ouch factor)

 He's certainly a lot cuter than the doctors and nurses I dealt with when I was diagnosed (OK, so I wasn't technically a kid, but I might have like to have had a bear). He's also easier for kids to relate to, which is the whole point. I mean, who among us didn't consider our stuffed toys to have lives of their own? My brother would kill me if I posted a photo of him with his big Winnie the Pooh riding shotgun on his bike. Fortunately, he doesn't read my blog.

And imagine the show-and-tell possibilities (do they still do that?) of a bear like Jerry. Instead of being the odd kid out, you get to showyour classmates how cool your bear is. As we all agree, education and awareness is key to making life easier for all of us. The more people that understand how diabetes works, the fewer stupid questions people with diabetes are subject to (can you eat that? Yes. Are you gonna die? Yes, but so are you.) 

In a similar vein, there's an 11-year-old Wisconsin girl who has been campaigning for American Doll to create a diabetic doll, complete with supplies and an insulin pump.

"There are thousands of girls with diabetes and it's really hard for some of them getting diagnosed," Anja Busse told a local newspaper. "It's easier with a doll that looks just like you. You have someone to take care of."

Oh, and rumor has it that if you tickle Jerry behind the ears, he giggles.

Theresa Flaherty