Off the Dial

Jerry the Bear: The Big Idea

Benny was diagnosed with type 1 before he was old enough to pronounce diabetes. My parents bought him a Curious George doctor doll and his beloved Elmo often got a juice box and a shot. We explained everything the best we could to our 2 year old, but found that diabetes-play better helped him process what was going on.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Jerry the Bear, an adorable plush toy (below)that teaches kid about diabetes.


I met the company founders at a conference last summerthey made a big impression on me. Jerry is a great tool for children with diabetes and for their friends and classmates. It makes learning about diabetes less scary and more fun.

I’m so pleased that they asked me to help get the word out about their latest project. It’s a pretty audacious one. They want to give every newly diagnosed child a Jerry the Bear toy. For free.


From their website:

“Last Christmas, we shipped our first production run of Jerry the Bear and reached 2% of all newly diagnosed children with T1D in the U.S. Now, after 5 months, kids are still playing with Jerry for over an hour each week – monitoring his blood sugar levels, feeding him a healthy diet, and replaying his educational lessons.

This makes us ask the questions, what if we can get Jerry into the hands of100% of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? Can we make a profound difference in the life of every child diagnosed?”

I bet they can do it. Find out more about how you can help with this big idea (link takes you to their fundraising campaign).

Just want to know more about Jerry the Bear? Watch this:

Our Independence Day

This week marks seven years since we started Benny on an insulin pump. I remember joking about our independence from shots. Slade and I were excited to start on the Animas insulin pump. At two and a half years old, Benny wasn’t exactly so sure.

From my post in 2007 (click here to read it all):

“To say the pump transition has not gone as planned would be an understatement. I can honestly say I never thought Benny would grab his brand new pump and throw it across the room.We got the inset onto Benny (we’re calling it his “button”) and unlike last time, he was not happy about it. After the initial outburst (okay, it was a total tantrum – and that’s when he chucked the pump across the room) he calmed down until bedtime. When I changed him, he noticed the “button” on his tush and told me to ‘off it.’

So, it wasn’t perfect. And inset changes, while much easier, sometimes still hurt (that’s how the pump attaches to Benny’s body and it’s like getting a big shot). Overall, pumping has been a terrific experience. The Animas pump has given Benny more flexibility, discretion and independence in managing his diabetes.  The dosing is more accurate and consistent and caregivers who were reluctant to give shots were much more comfortable with pressing buttons.

Pumping isn’t for everyone with diabetes, of course. We know lots of people who get great control and numbers on shots or with insulin pens. But it was the 100% right decision for us.



Happy Independence Day!