Lenny the Lion

by Leighann on May 28, 2012

Medtronic Lenny the LionMedtronic Lenny the LionMedtronic Lenny the LionMedtronic Lenny the LionMedtronic Lenny the LionMedtronic Lenny the Lion

During the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum, of course everyone was excited about hearing updates about the company’s efforts toward the artificial pancreas. But there were two presentations that I think the company was surprised were met with such enthusiasm from the adult T1’s in the room: the mySentry and the Build-A-Bear Workshop Lenny the Lion.

We have a couple of small Lenny dolls that we have received at walks and other diabetes events, but this one is much larger and is manufactured by Build-a-Bear, which many kids are obsessed with. We have a few animals from their store, which we purchased on vacation. Because it’s made by the BAB company, kids can actually purchase clothing (or use BAB clothing they already have) to dress Lenny up or even make Lenny a Lenore.

Q did not want to put clothes on him, did not want to rename him, and did not want to turn him into a girl!

We registered him on the Medtronic website and quickly received our birth certificate within a week or two. She wants to go on Bearville, but I still need to set up an account (because of course I had an account at one time to register our other animals, but of course I have no idea which e-mail I used, let alone the password).

The card attached to his wrist talks about locations where a pump site or CGM sensor can be placed (the smooth areas on Lenny) and the importance of rotating sites. Q was a bit bummed that the rubber bracelet wasn’t a medical ID bracelet and that you couldn’t take the metal ring off of it so that it would be just a bracelet for Lenny.

Though you can’t see it in these photos, we put a CGM sensor on Lenny. She’s incredibly nervous about the sensor insertions so I let her push the button while I held the insertion device in place. Lenny didn’t fuss or cry like Q does and he even did it without numbing cream! As brave as lions are, sometimes d-kids aren’t quite so brave (nor should we expect them to always be.)

When children begin using a Medtronic pump or CGM, the company will send out this Lenny at no charge. For existing customers, adults, or those families wanting to purchase an additional Lenny for siblings, he can be purchased from the Medtronic online store.

Note: His bald butt reminds me of a baboon!


Further Reading

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: The Event

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: After the Event

Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum: The People

Disclosure, Medtronic paid for my travel, hotel, and meals during the event. They gave our family a Lenny doll so we could see him for ourselves. They did not ask me to write about the event or Lenny and opinions are my own.

*Medtronic disclosure

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey D. May 28, 2012 at 9:24 am

I just posted about Lenny as well, though not in great detail like you did. I love that they created him for children with diabetes. I so wish they had something like that when I was a kid! Glad Q is enjoying him. I’m enjoying mine too 🙂


2 Leighann May 31, 2012 at 7:42 am

Q loves him and keeps taking him to school and showing him off to random people explaining that he has diabetes and showing people where he can get shots or have sites and where to check his finger. It’s such a great tool (as is Rufus) for young T1’s.


3 Amy May 28, 2012 at 11:03 am

My 4 year old daughter has this Lenny, she got him with her Medtronics Pump. Lenny helped her alot make the switch from shots to pump.


4 Leighann May 31, 2012 at 7:41 am

Hope your transition to pumping is going well. It feels like starting over at square one and learning a whole new routine. Glad to hear she likes Lenny 🙂


5 Denise aka Mom of Bean May 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

That is flippin awesome! Just might allow the ban on Build-A-Bear to be lifted for a Lenny!!!


6 Leighann May 31, 2012 at 7:40 am

LOL! We *only* get them on vacation if we happen to be near a store. And sometimes we just look.


7 Stephanie July 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm

How do you get Lenny? Can you only get him if you get a medtronic pump? LOVE it! My two year old would love to have a “friend” with T1D!


8 Leighann July 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Are you within 6 months of diagnosis? JDRF gives Rufus in the Bag of Hope to newly diagnosed kids. For free 🙂


9 Stephanie July 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Scratch that…just saw your link to purchase. Ouch though-$40 is pretty steep!


10 Abigail March 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 14 years ago, I was given a diabetes bear. Very much like Lenny, but looked more like an older time bear. It was made by Russ and was called Rufus. I remember I used to give my bear shots when I did mine. It was a great help to me.


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