paying it forward

I shudder to think about going through the first couple of days of Ellie's diagnosis without our diabetes fairy, Stef.  You can read more about this fabulous woman and what she did for us here in Ellie's diagnosis story. 

Stef's help didn't stop at the hospital.  Nope!  She brought her daughter, Kenzi, over later in the week so Ellie could watch a 'pro' check her blood sugar and count carbs to bolus for a snack.  Kenzi wears a pump, and this was the first time Ellie and I were able to see not only the pager sized computer, but also the tubing, how Kenzi wears it and where it is hooked up on her infusion site. 

Kenzi is a beautiful 13yo who embraced the idea of being a 'big D-sister' to Ellie and I will forever be grateful.

The two ladies had also stopped by our local JDRF chapter office and picked up a 'Bag of Hope'

The backpack was filled with lots of literature for us to sift through, but Ellie was most excited about the bear, Rufus. He comes along with a story about how he has T1 diabetes and even has patches on his body to show where to inject and test.

Ellie's Rufus is always beside her while she is sleeping and has become a permanent member of her stuffed animal family.

::fast forward::

This past Monday Ellie came running in the door after school and gleefully announced a that a "new diabetes kid" was in the nurse's office today and she was only a "Kindergartner!". 

While I was happy to hear Ellie was excited about a having someone else in the nurse's office to check sugars and take injections, (there is also a older boy with T1 at her school) my heart was full of sadness for the family who now has to make room for this awful disease in their lives.

After probing Ellie about the girl and her situation, I quickly realized this was a little girl I used to coach in gymnastics and I knew the mother and siblings.  The problem was, I did not have a phone number or email address to make contact.

So I shot off a quick message to our school nurse asking her to pass along my contact information to the family and let them know I would be available to help out in any way possible with this new transition.

To my surprise, the nurse not only agreed to pass along my information and offer, but she also included this story in her email:

"Amy: I was so hoping that you were coming in today, because I wanted to share with you about how Ellie went above and beyond in helping the little girl today in my office at lunchtime. The little girl was somewhat hesitant about having to take her shot of insulin, so Ellie let the little girl watch her while she did her shot!!! It was amazing to watch………..no words were exchanged……..Ellie did her thing and you could just see the reassurance and confidence in the little girls face that, yes, she was going to be able to manage this diabetic thing.

Ellie will be a teacher someday………….she really has that special touch!

(signed by the nurse)

What a special girl!!!  PS: I will pass your information onto the family."

Ellie paid it forward!  I couldn't be more proud of my little girl!!!!  (and yes, I totally cried when I read that message.  Then I forwarded it to my husband who also admitted to tearing up after reading it.)

Inspired by Stef, and now Ellie, I am heading down to the local JDRF office tomorrow and picking up a 'bag of hope' for this newly diagnosed family.  In addition, Ellie is putting together a small treat bag filled with her favorite low carb snacks and a sample of her favorite ways to treat lows.  We will deliver the goodies tomorrow after school.  I cannot wait!

Yes, this diabetes diagnosis has rocked our world and changed Ellie's life forever, but I can't help but be grateful for the opportunities it has placed in front of us and given us the chance to grow. 


Reyna said...

Tearing up Amy. What a beautiful and inspiring story. I love that you guys are taking over the Bag of Hope as well.

Tell Ellie that Reyna and Joe are giving her a "fist bump" from Vermont.


Smuff said...

I'm so so so so proud of Ellie and how she has handled all that has been put in front of her. She has such a BIG heart and YES that nurse called it...I do in fact see her becoming a teacher of some sort. BEAUTIFUL STORY!!! I love you Bells

Joanne said...

What a sweet story, and an even sweeter girl. I love reading stories like this... thanks for sharing!

Hallie said...

This is awesome!! This is what it's all about! I love that you're paying it forward - Thank you! We love our Rufus, too!!

Football and Fried Rice said...

Wow. You have such a beautiful outlook on life. I love how you say "make room for this disease" - cause you truly have to - in a way that i can't imagine. your whole lives have changed.

i can't help but think how much God must think of you, must think of Ellie - to entrust her with this. He knows and must have incredible confidence in her, in your family, to bring Him glory through the making of room in your lives - for not only T1D, but for HIM.

Love ya,

Meri said...

Well you got me crying! What an awesome little girl you have! I'm so happy you are going to visit the family. You know first hand what a blessing it is to be in the company of people who "get it!"

Amy said...

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Tracy1918 said...

Awwww....what a sweet story. I love it!

Matthew loves his Rufus, too!

I'll never forget the moment he brought "Ruf" to me and said they were both ready to have a carb snack, even though it meant having an extra shot.

You've got a sweet girl there!

Wendy said...

sniff...sniff...SO PROUD of your beautiful girl.

And so proud of you.

I can't wait to hear the rest of the story...be sure to take pictures!!!!

Great job, Mom & Dad. You have yourselves quite a girl there :)

Amanda said...

That made me cry. What a darling your little Ellie is.