It's not easy when you're a kid with diabetes or food allergies. Here's something that helps — a lot.
True
Cheerios

Children with special needs such as diabetes and food allergies can often feel left out or isolated.

There's a really ingenious idea that can help with that called "Jerry the Bear."

This bear is different from most teddy bears because a child can interact with him in ways that make it seem like they're not alone.

First developed at Northwestern University in 2013, Jerry the Bear has three versions — one for diabetic kids, one for those with food allergies, and one for helping kids understand the value of hygiene, nutrition, and exercise.


The first iteration, for kids with Type 1 diabetes, was a hit; kids all over the world have been able to use it to help control their blood sugars, deal with low blood sugars, and count carbs ... but most importantly, it helps them explain their condition to others. Here's what some parents have had to say:

"I think it's helped … conceptualize what is a carb."

"I don't want her to feel different. You know?"

"When people come over, and ... ask Conner questions, he goes to get Jerry."

"He's more than just a learning tool for her; he's a learning tool to engage the village, the community, the kids around us."





Here's one little girl's version of what Jerry is to her:

Hugs! Image via "Our Families" from Jerry the Bear/YouTube.

Kids with special needs can use this little extra boost of confidence — of feeling like they're not alone and having a "friend" who gets it.

Image via "It Takes Two" from Jerry the Bear/YouTube.

But even more important, it's a really effective tool to get them to learn how to take care of themselves properly.

The Type 1 diabetic Jerry, for example, can help kids count carbohydrates, monitor glucose levels, and learn how to talk about their symptoms when they don't feel right. It stimulates kids to talk more about what they're dealing with and what they're feeling about their health issues.

GIF via Jerry The Bear/YouTube.

The food allergy Jerry comes complete with an Epipen, which many kids with severe allergies need to learn how to use. And, at times, they're embarrassed to keep one with them or let anybody see it. Normalizing that experience can help them to not forget the pen somewhere (which could mean disastrous consequences).

What's next for the Jerry the Bear line of empathy bears? Who knows, but they're probably going to be fantastic!

Listen to these families talk about how this invention made a big impact in the lives of their kids:

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


There are very few people who have had quite as memorable a life as Arnold Schwarzenegger. His adult life has played out in four acts, with each one arguably more consequential than the last.

And now Schwarzenegger wants to play a role in helping America, his adopted home, ensure that our 2020 election is safe, secure and available to everyone willing and able to vote.

Shortly after immigrating to America, Schwarzenegger rose up to become the most famous bodybuilder in history, turning what was largely a sideshow attraction into a legitimate sport. He then pivoted to an acting career, becoming Hollywood's highest paid star in a run that spanned three decades.


Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less