Fairfield girl aims to make hospital visits less intimidating with 'Medi Teddy'

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A Fairfield girl is on a mission, using her experience to help kids have a less daunting time while they're stuck in the hospital.

Ella Casano, 12, has an autoimmune disease called ITP, a platelet disorder that occurs when a person's body attacks its own platelets. Meg Casano, Ella's mother, says her daughter has to get IVs every six to eight weeks.

"Especially at my first few IVs ... the hospitals were very intimidating, especially all the medical equipment and the big bag of medicine," says Ella Casano.

Ella says she wanted to come up with a friendly way to hide the bag of fluids and medication. She got her chance when her school held an invention competition.

"She cut up a stuffed animal, used a hot glue gun and made her first Medi Teddy," says Meg Casano.

Two years later, the current version is a stuffed animal pouch that covers as an IV bag.

Now, Ella is working to share her idea with other kids so they don't have to be scared of the treatment they need. Ella and her mom got a patent for the design, lined up a manufacturing company and are researching how to become a nonprofit.

They also launched a GoFundMe campaign hoping to raise $5,000 for 500 Medi Teddies. Within just a few days, they surpassed that goal and now have more than $22,000.

"It makes me feel really great that I'm able to take what isn't as fortunate for me and use it to help other people," says Ella.

Ella says each child will get their own Medi Teddy to bring to all of their infusions.

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