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Rufus and Ruby To Travel to Space

Our Rufus #1 and Ruby #1 bears traveled into space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis in September 2002 as part of STS-112. Their trip symbolized the global reach of diabetes and the hopes of everyone with the disease to live a life without limits. NASA again served as an international ambassador of goodwill and hope, as it has done so many times before.

Nancy Turner, who brought the idea of Rufus traveling into space, writes:

Rufus has been that special stuffed buddy to see our son Graham through some tough days with diabetes since his diagnosis 2/4/01, at age 6. Graham loves Rufus. We love Rufus. We love to see Rufus' (and Ruby's) travels that are documented on the CWD website. He's a cute bear with a big message -- there are children everywhere hoping for a cure. Our friend, Dr. Charlotte E. Whitfield, Assistant Head, Aeroacoustics Branch at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia was instrumental in making the shuttle trip for Rufus and Ruby happen. What started as a kitchen conversation about Ruby's F-15 flight became "why not the shuttle?" and Charlotte was the one to call and email NASA administration to see how this could happen. We answered some questions, starting contacting people and the rest has been CWD diligence.

The Turner family is Dr. Mark G. Turner, Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati; Nancy G. Turner, United Methodist pastor; Luke Turner (age 9), 4th grade; and, Graham Turner (7), 2nd grade.

The Turner family with Ruby #1, Graham's own Rufus, and Rufus #1 before their departure to NASA
Graham Turner showing off his Rufus in the space suit that Rufus #1 and Ruby #1 will wear into space on STS-112
Mission Patch
The Mission Patch for STS112,
on which Rufus and Ruby will travel

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Last Updated: Wednesday December 18, 2002 19:22:02
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