People with diabetes, ask yourself the question: What if you could get a new pancreas? How great would that be, especially if it was soft, cuddly and soothing rather than the real thing that messes with your blood sugar levels?
Have no fear, we have just thing for you... Some cuddly stuffed friends you will want to take home.
You might not immediately think stuffed toys make a difference when it comes to living with diabetes, but it's true -- and not just for kids!
As we head into Autumn with cooler weather on the way -- and with the Holiday Season not too far off -- we're excited to share a few of our favorite plush diabetes toys that might be worth adding to your gifting list. And we're giving some away as prizes, so be sure to read through and enter our giveaway.
Health Benefits of "Stuffies"
First, let's look at the benefits these toys have for those living with chronic conditions like diabetes, or for people in hospitals, nursing homes or just generally unfamiliar places. Actually, this New York Times piece reminds us not to call them toys, but rather "stuffies." The article outlines why many Americans still sleep with a teddy bear. These stuffed companions offer comfort, and an "anchor in turbulent waters."
Pet therapy for help coping with adversity is proven through all kinds of scientific studies and research, and tweaking that formula for stuffed animals isn't too much of a stretch. This applies across all walks of life from kids, teens, adults, military veterans, the elderly, and anyone emotionally challenged or grief-stricken. Health benefits include but aren't limited to lowering blood pressure and heart rate, reducing stress and anxiety and producing a general sense of well-being. Opinions can vary on all of this, but it's a fascinating topic...
For those in the Diabetes Community, it's easy to imagine that these cuddly companions also help with disease distress and mental health challenges, if for no other reason than they help make light of our "lazy pancreases" and allow us to have a bit of fun with that.
Plush Friends for Diabetes
We've seen a number of fun-loving teddy bears introduced specifically for our Diabetes Community through the years -- from Rufus the Bear included in JDRF's Bag of Hope for newly-diagnosed families, to the beloved Jerry the Bear educational stuffed animal first introduced in our DiabetesMine Patient Innovation Challenge a decade ago. There have been "road trips" for these bears including the Traveling Bears introduced by Children With Diabetes back in the late 90s, to the more recent global travels from the Adventures of the Insulin Gang (of) Travelling Bears.
But not all of these diabetes stuffies are bears, or even animals. Some mimic our broken body parts -- like the Plush Pancreas, for example.
It comes from the creative folks at I Heart Guts, a family-operated business in the Los Angeles metro area. They offer a plethora of plush toys in the shape of various bodily organs, to soothe folks with a variety of health issues and chronic conditions.
The Plush Pancreas is chief among those. You can give it a little hug or squeeze, or even take out some diabetes frustration by punching it. Either way, it's pretty adorable and can be a great addition to anyone's collection of fun diabetes merch. Specifically, it's safe for ages 3 and up, made of super-soft material and measures 11" x 8" x 2.5". It also comes with a hang-tag and educational mini-book filled with art, trivia, and actual info about diabetes and the pancreas.
You can also get related items, like cute pancreas pouches, T-shirts, and keychains to go along with your new stuffie.
The customer comments about this Plush Pancreas are not to be missed. For example: "I bought this pancreas stuffed toy for my boyfriend who has diabetes. He has a very good sense of humor about it so when I saw this I knew it was perfect. He loved it so much he almost passed out from laughing. He sleeps with it every night now. It is very soft and cuddly. It also arrived fast! I would definitely recommend :)" - Katie B.
Ha! Love it! And we think you will too. Read on for your chance to win...
A DMProducts Giveaway
Interested in winning a cuddly diabetes plush toy? TWO lucky winners will receive a free Plush Pancreas from DiabetesMine. Here's how to enter:
Send us a social media comment including the codeword "DM PLUSH"or email us directly using that subject header to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have until Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at 7pm PST to enter.
One lucky winner will be chosen using Random.org, and announced via Facebook and Twitter on Monday, Sept. 23, so make sure you're following us. Please be sure to keep tabs on your Facebook or Instagram messages and emails too, as that's our only way to contact winners.
Good luck, Friends!
This contest is now closed. Congrats to Yerachmiel Altman and Hannah H who were chosen as winners!