Kylie 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.
“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,” said Kylie, who underwent months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries to beat rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer she was diagnosed with three years ago, at age 8.
“I would have loved this thing for myself,” she said.
The backpack prototype, which won Kylie four awards at a statewide invention convention, includes details like a drip bag protection cage so kids can move around without fearing they will puncture the medicine bag and an IV controller built into the bag to control the bag’s flow rate.
“I worked with my mom and dad to actually make it and my nurses and doctors gave me some tips,” Kylie said. “They were saying it has to be light and portable and there has to be something that protects it if you sit back, so I thought of the metal cage that protects it.”