14 Responses

  1. reyna
    reyna September 24, 2010 at 7:45 am | | Reply

    FINALLY! We as D’Rents have had to make up very similar scenarios in our homes to help our children, their siblings, and their friends understand “d” and to not fear “d”. This is an awesome idea and product. LuLu was our Webkinz Polar Bear with “D”, I fashioned LuLu with a pump, LuLu had a glucometer, a lancing device, and a log…I wrote about LuLu last week as our dog Oscar got ahold of him…LuLu was a goner, sad to say, more than just stuffing.

    Great post.

  2. Sysy Morales
    Sysy Morales September 24, 2010 at 9:09 am | | Reply

    That’s a wonderful idea! I have twin toddlers, one of whom is extremely allergic to peanut and egg-meaning we have to constantly deny her certain foods and activities. Part of my emotional distress (aside from knowing a common food could put her in the ER) is explaining to her why she isn’t allowed certain things. I feel really inspired by this idea and may just use it not only to explain MY type 1 diabetes to the kids but my daughter’s allergies as well. Nikki is an amazing artist by the way!

    Thanks for reporting, Amy :)

  3. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth September 24, 2010 at 9:10 am | | Reply

    In the meantime, these are on the market:

    Insulin pumping stuffed bears, and toy pumps:

    Toy pumps AND a toy meter.

  4. Sysy Morales
    Sysy Morales September 24, 2010 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    About this not being in the market due to lack of a “market”…it IS disappointing indeed. I hope more support for it grows-but I hope the market for it doesn’t you know?

  5. AngelaC
    AngelaC September 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm | | Reply

    Amy, that bear from 1998 was Carol Cramer’s Rufus The Bear With Diabetes and though he was a bear, he was also a teaching tool, as well as a companion with diabetes for children with diabetes back then.

    Rufus came equipped with a MedicAlert bracelet, had patches on his body to indicate where kids should give him injections, and heart-shaped patches on his paws so children could give him pretend bg tests. When he first came out, Carol was selling them herself for $25 each and donating $7 from each bear to JDRF. Eventually, Carol and the JDRF agreed to create the “Bag of Hope” for families with newly-diagnosed children, each of which contained a Rufus Bear, so now, children can receive a Rufus for free. You can read a short blurb about Carol and Rufus here: and what some now-adults who had Rufus bears growing up had to say here: Also, if memory serves me (which it might not), a few years ago, JDRF teamed up with Teddy Bear Stuffers to allow children with diabetes to create their own Rufus, with proceeds going to the JDRF. Unfortunately, it was not something that lasted very long, otherwise I might have bought one for myself last summer when I stopped at a Teddy Bear Stuffers with one of my nephews!

    This isn’t to take anything away from Rocky or his creation — I think they’re great — but to show that many parents of children with diabetes have long been quite creative!

  6. Rob Pike
    Rob Pike September 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm | | Reply

    This is a fascinating post. I have never thought about the education of young children with diabetes so that they can understand why their parents are treating them on a regular basis.

  7. Michael Hoskins
    Michael Hoskins September 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm | | Reply

    Great post, Amy! I was thinking Rufus myself, and appreciate AngelaC’s comment explaining that whole evolution of the now-JDRF bear! Good stuff. Am interested in the whole market for these great educational toys… Sounds like more of an excuse to me.

  8. NancyD
    NancyD September 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm | | Reply

    Dolls are used in many therapies involving children as they relate and trust toys. It’s an excellent idea and breaks down the fear barriers.

  9. david@Health Policy
    david@Health Policy September 27, 2010 at 3:39 am | | Reply

    Amy! I was thinking Rufus myself, and appreciate AngelaC’s comment explaining that whole evolution of the now-JDRF bear! Good stuff.

  10. Mel
    Mel September 28, 2010 at 8:20 am | | Reply

    This is a brilliant and inspired idea, I really admire the innovation and inititive, that was exemplified while making this project come into fruition. Rocky you are an inspiration to everyone with diabetes both young and old, and especially to their family members who battle diabetes hand in hand with their loved ones, Thank You!

  11. Leighann of D-Mom Blog
    Leighann of D-Mom Blog September 30, 2010 at 9:26 am | | Reply

    I have written again and again about not only Rufus, but also my daughter’s American Girl doll and how she uses them in role play.

    Rufus came to us a couple of months after her diagnosis during a very trying week when she refused to get injections and I had to threaten holding her down. The bear really was magical at that moment. (Read it here: and here:

    All of our dolls and animals get finger pricks, band aids, injections, pods, etc. and so you could say that all of them are a “teaching tool” to help my child cope with diabetes.

    And we use REAL equipment (not pretend ones) on our dolls. Meters we don’t use any more. Expired ketone strips. A first gen OmniPod PDM my daughter talked the pump trainer out of.

    (My concern with Joe Toucan and why I probably wouldn’t buy him is that he looks a little shell shocked. His expression is “I’m trying to smile, but I am really terrified right now.” Not to mention that his hair looks Jersey Shore. No offense. But he isn’t really the type of doll my kids would be drawn to.)

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