Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the Pillay Family

Yoshlin Pillay, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Age: 7 1/2 years
Diagnosed: 3 June 1997 at 21 months

Monday, March 3, 2003
Rufus arrived on a special day today – Mum's birthday. When I saw him I was very excited because I had waited all weekend for him to arrive. I changed his clothes; we then took him to drop my brother off (17 years old) at his French lesson. I also have a 19 year old brother, a cat (Kitt Katt) and a dog (Luigi). I enjoyed reading Rufus' diary because it makes me feel better to know that other young diabetics have the same highs and lows that I do. Rufus watched while I did my homework and I read my reading book to him. He watched while Mum checked my blood glucose (high I'm afraid). Rufus slept with me tonight.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Rufus spent the morning with Mum at home. In the afternoon Mum brought him to my cricket match. On most Tuesday afternoons we play matches against other schools. This term we play cricket. Today's match was played at Clifton Prep. School in Nottingham Road, which is about a 45 minute drive from Pietermaritzburg. I think Rufus brought me luck because our team won. The score was 23 – 3. Later in the afternoon we watched TV, did homework, etc. This evening I have to take care of myself (with big brother over-seeing) because Mum has to attend her Sanskrit class.

Thursday, March 6, 2003
This afternoon Rufus came along on a routine visit to my diabetes doctor. Everything seemed okay, except the doctor is concerned about the frequent “lows” I seem to be having. We have worked out a plan to try and counter that. I have had to miss cricket practice so that I could have this consultation (I was not happy about having to miss cricket- but we had to travel all the way to Durban). I did part of my homework in the waiting room until the doctor was ready to see us.

Friday, March 7, 2003
(From my teacher Lyn Freestone)
Today Rufus went to my school, Cordwalles. He was introduced to everyone and his story was told by my mom. He spent the rest of the morning with us in class with my friends. At 11h00 we planted bean seeds and at 12h00 we went to sketch trees outside. Rufus was able to visit a forest by our school and enjoy some of the South African sunshine. We all enjoyed having this well traveled bear with us at school.

We think that it is a lovely idea and hope that many children learn about diabetes from this little bear.

Saturday, March 8, 2003
Today we went to soccer practice. Rufus did not participate much, but remained in the car with Mum. Practise finished at 11h00. I feel a little sad because later today I will have to say goodbye to Rufus. Today is dad's turn to make lunch (roast chicken). Smells good.

Mum's Reflections:

About Yoshlin
Yoshlin was no more than a baby when he was diagnosed with diabetes. Because he arrived so many years after his other two brothers he was always a special boy in our family, and now he has special needs. Him being so young and needing to cope with a difficult condition has contributed to his older brothers having a soft spot for him, but he does not get any special treatment from them either. Diabetes has given Yoshlin a certain maturity that I have not seen in other young children. The people he comes into contact with are impressed by his responsible attitude towards his diabetes.

Yoshlin has not been a child who wanted the comfort of a teddy bear, so I was truly surprised by the immediate affinity he had with Rufus. I wonder if he felt they were kindred spirits (they both have diabetes). He enjoyed hugging, cuddling and even dressing up Rufus. He was, however, self-conscious about taking Rufus outside our home (except to school). During Rufus' stay I had to give Yoshlin his injections and

Yoshlin did the same for Rufus. Normally Yoshlin injects himself except when he doesn't feel like it.

About Rufus
You have touched our hearts in a way I did not expect. I will miss having you share our daily routine. Thank you Rufus for providing a way of dealing with diabetes from a different perspective. Good luck in your travels. We will keep track of your experiences on your website.


The Pillay family
Muswell Hill, Pietermaritzburg

Bye Rufus.
I will miss you,
love Yoshlin

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Copyright Notice:
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.

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Last Updated: Saturday May 03, 2003 08:19:18
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