By Hasley Pitman
Ella Casano is not your typical 12-year-old girl.
The young girl from Fairfield, Connecticut has to receive an IV transfusion every six to eight weeks, which mean she consistently faces what most kids hate — needles.
Casano was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura or ITP, when she was seven. This autoimmune disorder makes her body destroy its own platelets.
“Without her IV, her platelets are dangerously low,” Meghan Casano, Ella’s mother, said. “When her platelets are low, it is dangerous for her to do certain activities because of bleeding or injury.”
The experience of getting an IV treatment so often can be very stressful for Casano. “One of the main things I noticed was it was very intimidating,” she said. “I wanted to hide it.” Hoping to address that fear, Casano came up with the idea of a “Medi Teddy,” a cover with a flat back and pouch that resembles a teddy bear.