An IV backpack – the invention of a preteen girl from Connecticut – is marking September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in a big way. Eleven-year-old Kylie Simonds, a cancer survivor herself, invented and patented a solution for any person struggling to be mobile while attached to an IV pole. The portable backpack carries all the essentials for intravenous therapy, and takes away the impracticality of dragging a five-foot metal pole on wheels.
Writes ABC News: “Simonds, of Naugatuck, Connecticut, was in fifth grade last year when she took a standard classroom assignment – create something to solve an everyday problem – and turned it into something that could help thousands of kids with cancer.”
That everyday problem to Kylie was something that few children have to endure – as an eight year old, Kylie was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood sarcoma cancer that attaches itself to the muscles and bones. Kylie underwent months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries, ultimately beating the cancer. But she remembers having to pull around her IV pole.
“I came up with it from when I had cancer,” Kylie told ABC News. “When I had chemo, I had to pull around the big IV pack, so I came up with this backpack. I remember tripping over all the wires, getting tangled up and having to drag this big thing around.”
So she developed a backpack prototype that houses the elevated IV bag, controller, battery and connective tubes.
“I would have loved this thing for myself,” she said.
Her GoFundMe page on Saturday topped her stated goal of raising $50,000, prompting the 11-year-old’s family to write, “Woo hoo!! Kylie did it!”
Kylie’s family writes, in part:
“Kylie’s backpack couldn’t be just any backpack. Because of the fasionista that she is, these would have to be colorful, gender specific, and awesome. She went to work and with the help from her parents designed a backpack. Kylie’s invention was chosen by her middle school teachers, among others, to attend the UCONN Invention Convention where over 700 inventions were displayed and many selected for awards and recognition. Amazingly, Kylie’s invention received four awards including the ‘Patent Award,’ the highest award at the convention.”
The backpack currently has a “Hello Kitty” design, but Kylie and her family plan to make the backpack design into other colors, themes, and create an adult version as well.
“It’s just touching my heart,” she said.
Check out Kylie’s GoFundMe page for additional pictures and videos of her appearance on “The Doctors” as well as testimonials from cancer patients.
On behalf of Examiner, great job Kylie!