Pancreas Partner | Teaching Tool

Building Bridges – Women Helping Women from Kenya to California | The Story of the Pancreas Partner

Young women sew the pancreas shells in Kenya and ship them to us in California for our team of women to finish (stuffing and adding the beta cells).

The women from Kenya to the U.S. are paid to sew and stuff the pancreases. Plus, all profits after the sale of the pancreases are contributed back to Just One Person.  We are proud to be a part of this collective of women, working hard to build a brighter future for generations to come.

“Lynsea Wells grew up in San Clemente, California and has recently moved to Northern California with her family! She is a mom to a very busy four year old little girl named Hudson. She is passionate about helping people and is always the first to join a community outreach for neighbors in need. She loves to be outdoors and be around people and animals. She is a licensed Cosmetologist and is excited to show her creative side helping us make Pancreas Pillows! Thank you for your help Lynsea!!”

Pancreas Partner  – $24.99

This is a fun teaching tool that helps you demonstrate the job of the pancreas. This pillow is soft and stuffed. The beta cells are represented by sparkly balls of different sizes. One side of the pancreas has a normal amount of beta cells, while the other side only has a fraction of normal cells to demonstrate the natural history of diabetes and beta cell loss.

A great teaching tool when demonstrating the normal function of basal and bolus insulin. Kids, adults and health care professionals love the Pancreas Partner.

Just One Person

 All profits are donated to

Just One Person’s philosophy is that girls are members of our organization for life.  They appreciate the opportunities they’ve been offered and are committed to sharing their knowledge and resources with their mothers, sisters, neighbors and daughters for generations to come. Mwanaidi joined the Just One Person (JOP) project in rural Kenya after her high school recognized she was girl with a lot of potential and not much opportunity.  She is the oldest of 8 children. He was working to support his family as a taxi conductor when he had a stroke, leaving him totally debilitated.  Mwanaidi, her mom and 7 brothers and sisters live in a one room concrete house.  Her mom sells a few vegetables by the road to make enough money to feed her family, but there’s no extra money for things like medications and. school.  Mwanaidi graduated from high school in 2010.  Subsequently, she earned a certificate as a chef, so she can pursue a profession that ensures her a decent wage and the ability to contribute to the welfare of her family.  

Read about another student, Shamim Wakhusama from Kenya who is the first person in her family to attend college thanks to the “Just One Person” organization.  

Mwanaidi’s Amazing Story

While Mwanaidi was waiting for admission to college she earned money by sewing the “pancreas pillows” that Diabetes Education Services sells in the US.  She used a donated treadle sewing machine, a pattern designed by Just One Person (JOP) executive director, Emma Sisia and traditional “leso” cloth. After paying Mwanaidi for her labor, Diabetes Education Services donates the profit from the sale of the Pancreas Pillow to help fund school scholarships and seminars for other deserving girls in rural Kenya.   Other alumnae of JOP have followed suit and are continuing to produce these wonderful pillows to help ensure the sustainability of our program.      

Rasoha Annex incredible story!

This is Rasoha Annex. She was one of the original girls in the program and she made pancreas pillows during her gap year. Rashoha graduated with a degree in plant biology from Moi University. She came back to Kakamega and is now working as an assistant to Emma.

She’s tracking the high school girls and revitalizing our JOP projects like the poultry, mushrooms and bananas as well as going pancreas pillows. She’s doing a great job, she has strong leadership qualities.

Each Pancreas Partner is unique and hand crafted from donated traditional African fabrics. For this reason, material and beta cell color will vary.  Thank you for your purchase and contribution to Just One Person.

Pancreas Partner Video Demonstration – Beverly demonstrates how to use the Pancreas Partner to describe the natural history of type 2 diabetes and beta cell loss.