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Meet The 11-Year-Old Inventor Changing The Lives of Kids with Cancer

August 18, 2014
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Meet The 11-Year-Old Inventor Changing The Lives of Kids with Cancer
Kylie Simonds, an 11-year old cancer survivor, used her experience cancer treatment to create the chemo backpack, giving kids mobility. Screengrab via WTNH
She's a patent holder years before becoming a teenager.

In the backpacks of most elementary students: Pencils, crayons, notebooks and their favorite toys. Together, these things are the tools to tackle that big worksheet or answer the question of what game to play — two major concerns of young kids.

For some children, however, life is a little more complicated.  Instead of playing tag after school on the playground, children with cancer are going to chemotherapy. And a typical backpack isn’t equipped with the necessary amenities for these kids.

That’s why Kylie Simonds did something about it. This 11-year old cancer survivor has created the first chemo backpack, capable of holding all chemotherapy medicine including an I-V bag.

Three years ago, Kylie was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. Although she has been cancer free for two years, she hasn’t forgotten what it was like during her year of treatment.

“I used to have to use the I-V poles and I always tripped over all the wires,” she told WTNH. “It was hard to walk around, and I always had to have someone push it for me because I was kinda weak when I was in chemo.”

Kylie’s chemo backpack, which is lightweight and stylish, eliminates this problem. She unveiled her “Hello Kitty” backpack at the Connecticut Invention Convention and amazingly, was the only one to walk away with a patent.

For Kylie, the addition of this school bag would have made receiving treatment much easier. And although she no longer needs it, she hasn’t forgotten her friends who are still fighting.

“My friend Marik, he has a prosthetic leg and he has to, well he has crutches and he always has to have someone push it for him but if he had something like that he could just slip it on,” she told WTNH.

But now with her provisional patent, Kylie can raise the money needed to make this backpack a reality for these kids. (To find out how to donate, click here.)

While life with cancer will still be difficult, at least with this backpack, they can get back to what’s most important: Being kids.

MORE: A Jacket That Should Be in Every Cancer Patient’s Hospital Bag

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