Pal Family, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, July 7, 2001
It's our lucky day! We got a call from Pam Mason at the JDRF office, saying that Rufus was in town, and that the Stewarts, whom he was visiting, had graciously offered to send Rufus to an Ottawa family for a couple of days. We decided to take Rufus with us to the annual Teddy Bear Picnic on the grounds of Rideau Hall, where the Governor-General lives.
Rufus was so excited to see thousands of teddy bears in one spot! Since Mike, 11, who was diagnosed only three months ago, was out of town with his dad, Mike's 7-year-old sister, Meredith, accompanied Rufus. She took Rufus onstage with children's singer and TV celebrity Suzanne Pinel, and then he marched in the Mascot Parade. He was a little shy with all the attention. Seems no one had met a bear with diabetes before!
Rufus traveled all over the grounds visiting as many activity centers as he could, and getting his passport stamped at each one. He had the most fun at the B*A*S*H. tent (a Surgical Hospital for Bears), where he was lucky enough to apply for and receive an O.T.I.P. card (Ontario Teddy Insurance Plan) so he now has free health care. The medical staff in two large tents were busy tending to injured teddy bears, replacing eyes, giving stitches, mending broken arms, and Rufus was brought to an Endo who examined his pump and said everything seemed to be in good working order. Rufus was very pleased.
When we came home, Mike was back, and he and Rufus hit it off from the start. We read the Rufus story, and Rufus proudly showed us his Journal. Mike gave him a Canadian flag pin, so he could remember his trip to Canada's capital.
Mike tested Rufus at bedtime with his glucometer, and Rufus was happy to see he was in the target range. When Mike had his injection, he gave Rufus a bolus so they could have a bowl of ice cream before bed. Rufus was pretty tuckered out from a full day and fell asleep as soon as his head hit Mike's pillow.
Sunday, July 8
As the weather was lovely and sunny again, Mike decided to give Rufus some skateboarding lessons. Rufus was a natural! He learned some pretty fancy tricks, for a beginner. Then, Mike received an unexpected invitation to go to his best friend's cottage for three days. Since diagnosis, Mike hasn't been away from home without one of his parents, so there was a lot of discussion. Rufus listened carefully, and then suggested that three days was not so long, the cottage is only an hour away, and Mike could call his mom or dad anytime. He helped Mike pack all the diabetes equipment. When Mom printed out three pages of instructions for the other parents, Mike and Rufus just looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Rufus waved a cheery good-bye as Mike left, and wondered what new adventures awaited him.
That afternoon, Pam Mason returned and picked Rufus up, for he had an appointment to meet patients at the Monday morning Clinic of the Diabetes Unit at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Mike's mom gave Rufus a JDRF CD, "Faith and Healing" with a picture of him and Mike on the cover. She said he was to present it to hockey legend Bobby Orr at a golf tournament on Tuesday! Rufus is so excited!
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: Wednesday December 18, 2002 21:32:22
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