The Haapala Family, Elkview, West Virginia
Ruby came to visit me in Elkview, West Virginia. My name is Jay Haapala, and I am 6 years old. I go to kindergarten at Bridge Elementary. Elkview is about 20 miltes north of Charleston, the capitol of West Virginia.
Ruby has been so much fun to have visit. She went with me to Coonskin Park, where she had lots of fun fishing, skateboarding, and bike riding.
Ruby came to school with me a couple of days. One day, I brought her and talked to my class about diabetes. The kids had lots of questions about diabetes, and they all told me how they would feel scared and sad if they had diabetes. I told them that 'diabetes doesn't make me any different.' I'm just like everybody else, but I have to check my blood sugar."
We took Ruby many places. She went to see Scooby Doo 2. We also took her to Chuck E. Cheese, to meet my cousin, Maddie, and to talk with social workers who were learning about kids with diabetes.
Ruby went with us to school one other time to help get everyone in the spirit for our Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes (we did for JDRF). Everyone had lots of fun that day.
I think Ruby fell in love with Rufus when she was here. They hated to say goodbye, but I told them they would see each other in July at the Friends for Life conference. Right before Ruby left, we took her to visit my great-grandparents on Lake Erie in Ashtabula, Ohio. She got to go to the Amish country and see all the horse and buggies.
I forgot to tell you that I was diagnosed in October 2003.
We added a keychain from West Virginia. It has a leaf, a rainbow trout, a cardinal, a map of the state, a bear, and the state capitol, Charleson.
The Haapala Family
Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.
Last Updated: Monday October 18, 2004 12:55:14
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