Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Interview With Jerry The Bear

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Jerry The Bear, a precocious bear with diabetes, who tests his own blood sugars, takes insulin shots from a pen, counts carbs & and helps children with diabetes become empowered and own their diabetes.
I'm all about D education, D buddies, not feeling alone and empowering others, including kiddles, when it comes to people with diabetes owning their diabetes!
Sidebar: How cool would it be to see a Gerry The Bear in every Peds Endo waiting room!

Jerry is an interactive BWD (bear with diabetes) who helps children with diabetes navigate life with diabetes.

**Jerry is currently 4 years old

1. Jerry, how old were you when you diagnosed with diabetes?

I was diagnosed at 2 years old! My parents were worried because I was tired all the time and drinking a lot of water. It was scary when the doctor first told me that I had diabetes, but now it’s just a part of each day!

2. What's with those cool looking special sensors on your paws & What exactly do they do?

My paws are just like your hands! You check your blood glucose levels by your fingertips; I use my paw tips! If you press the sensors in any of my paws, you can see what my blood sugar level is - whether I’m normal, high, or low. I make sure I rotate my fingertips. Also, when you’re reading a story, you can squeeze my hand to turn the pages.

3. There's a lot to learn when it comes to living with type 1 diabetes, and rumor has it that you're a really good type 1 diabetes teacher/pal with lots of cool D teaching tools.  Care to elaborate?

Ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve wanted to help out other friends who have t1d! I check my bg level, take shots of insulin, and count carbs just like any kid with t1d does, and I want to make sure that other kids don’t feel alone and can learn with me. Since I’m an All Star champion (it’s like the mini Olympics in my hometown), I tell my friends how I managed my diabetes during training!

4. Sometimes children (and grownups for that matter ) are afraid of needles - I know that when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was scared to death to give myself a shot.  Any advice on that subject?

Needles can be scary--I know I was scared at first! But then my nurse educator, Ms. Berry, told me how important it was for me to take my insulin. I knew that if I wanted to train for the Olympics, I would have to be very healthy. After a while, I was so used to taking insulin that I didn’t even notice them!

5. What's your favorite "bolus worthy" foods? For the record, I love cupcakes, fruit and nachos, but not together ;)
I love strawberry shortcake because strawberries are one of my favorite fruits!

6. Sometimes children feel like their diabetes is their fault, which totally isn't true. Do you ever have those feelings?

I can totally understand some children feeling that way. I didn’t feel that way since I was too young to understand Diabetes.

7. How is your sister Isabella doing re: your diabetes. I have no doubt she worries about you and tries to help out anyway she can. Siblings of CWDs & PWDs (Children With Diabetes & People with Diabetes) are awesome!

My little sister Isabella is my hero. She doesn’t have diabetes but she learned about T1D with me while I train with my mom and my educator. When I’m feeling low, my sister gets me a juicebox or lets my mom know.

8. What's next for you and your pals?

I love listening to inspiring stories. I want to meet other folks with T1D and get to know them better! I always want to help!

9. If someone wanted to buy a Jerry The Bear, how would they go about doing that?

Oh, I would love a new best friend! If anyone out there wants to take me home, they can visit At the bottom, there is a button that says “Buy Jerry!” Just press that, and I’m yours!

10. Jerry, thanks so much for the interview - Anything else you'd like to share with my diabetesaliciousness readers?

As an All Star champion, I want to let all the kids out there know that having type 1 diabetes will never stop me from doing anything or from dreaming big--and it shouldn’t stop you either.


Kelley said...

Aww, how cute! I've never heard of Jerry before but he sounds like a great resource for children with diabetes!

luvmyelyssa said...

That's crazy! I love it. We will have to get one for my daughter!!! Sooo cool!!! :)

luvmyelyssa said...

Wow. My daughter is 4 and was diagnosed at 2! LOL I will have to tell her that story and buy her that bear! Love It :)

Unknown said...

I love this! It totally made me smile.

Alberta Henrey said...

It's amazing, I started being interested in Jerry after I say this video about it It's wonderful what they can do today to ease up kids' lives. Great article, thanks a lot for this one!