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Kid inventor Ella Casano is making the hospital less scary for children

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/2/2019 Sheeka Sanahori, USA TODAY
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Editor's note: MSN is proud to honor Ella Casano and Medi Teddy as our Local Hero of the Month for October for her work to help other children receiving medical treatment feel more comfortable. Please consider joining us and make a donation to help bring Medi Teddy to more pediatric patients. 

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At 13 years old, Ella Casano already has her first invention under her belt, and she may have never realized its need if it weren't for her own medical diagnosis.

Doctors diagnosed Casano with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), an immune disorder in which her body produces low levels of blood cells that are needed to prevent bleeding. ITP has caused Casano to need IVs every six to eight weeks since the age of seven.

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"The most intimidating part of the experience has been the big bag of medicine that hangs in the IV pole," Casano said. "And there's nothing really that has been invented to conceal that or make that part of a patient experience more bearable."

Casano and her mom sketched out a few ideas, then found a manufacturer who could bring her Medi Teddy idea to life. 

Casano says her invention is already helping children.

"There was a girl in my school who was diagnosed with cancer and she had been having to get blood transfusions, and she said that she didn't like looking at the bag of blood. I gave her a Medi Teddy, and she really likes it."

Now, Medi Teddy Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that raises money to create more stuffed animals for pediatric patients. Casano wants to give every child who wants one a Medi Teddy while they're at a medical facility.

She's also encouraging other children to bring their good ideas to life.

"If you have an idea, you should do something about it because if I had just kept Medi Teddy to myself, it never would have become so, so impactful."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kid inventor Ella Casano is making the hospital less scary for children

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