Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the Francis Family

The Francis Family, Pleasanton, California

Wed., March 6, 2002
Rufus was waiting on our front porch when I got home from school. He arrived on the first cold, rainy day we've had in the San Francisco Bay Area in a long time. Up until now, it's been really warm and dry for this time of year.

My blood sugar was running high after school, but Rufus was right on target at 118. I shared my snack of apples and pudding with him. Then Rufus went to swim lessons with my sister and me. He stayed dry in the bleachers with Mom while we swam.

Thursday, March 7 thru Monday, March 11, 2002
Mom left for a trip to Oklahoma to visit relatives the day after Rufus arrived. We didn't do much when Mom was out of town. Dad and Emilie had head colds, so Rufus and I played around the house and watched some TV after school and on the weekend.

Rufus waited in the car with Dad while I went to my after-school science program Monday. It was a really neat class. The kids talked mostly about animals. I love animals.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002
It was a big day for Rufus. He got a neat blue MiniMed insulin pump. It looks just like my pump. Rufus will keep the pump with him so that he can use the pump or take shots, depending on what the kids do at the other homes he visits. Rufus can already tell a difference with the pump. He feels better and he can eat what he wants, when he wants. The pump is really cool.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002
The rainy weather that greeted Rufus when he arrived has given way to typical warm, sunny California weather. School starts late on Wednesdays, so Rufus and I got to sleep an extra hour. I woke up high. My parents say they are going to tinker with my basal rate (background drip) on my pump to keep my morning numbers in range. That means I'll have to fast (eat foods without carbs) for different meals on different days. I don't like to fast.

Thursday, March 14, 2002
Rufus went to school with me today at Lydiksen Elementary School. I was so excited about it that I could hardly get to sleep last night. Rufus went to music with me, then stayed in class with me all day. I'm in Mrs. Biddinger's third-grade class. I even took Rufus out to lunch and recess.

I shared Rufus with Mrs. Kyle's class next door, too. My friend, Jordan Larson, is in that class. He's had diabetes since he was 17 months old. He wears a pump, too. My Mom gave Rufus books to all the kids in my class and Jordan's class. It helped them learn a lot about diabetes.

We took our picture with Rufus and some of the people at school who have Type 1 diabetes in their families. Jordan, fifth-grader Myles Davis and I are the three kids at Lydiksen who have Type 1 diabetes. Mrs. Allen, a teacher, and Mrs. Munro, a mom, also have Type 1 diabetes. Mrs. Kyle's husband, another teacher's son and a school secretary's nephew all have Type 1 diabetes, too.

Saturday, March 16, 2002
My mom's cousin, Ed, came to visit us from Chicago. He was in Sacramento for a business trip. As soon as he got here, we all drove to San Francisco. It was really windy and cold. It's like that a lot in San Francisco. We ate at Bubba Gump's restaurant at the end of Pier 39. I shared my fried shrimp and french fries with Rufus. We walked around pier so we could see Alcatraz and all the sea lions that live on what used to be boat docks. The sea lions are really loud, but Rufus wasn't scared.

We drove through the Presidio National Park and Golden Gate Park. We saw lots of neat stuff and pretty scenery. Dad took a picture of Rufus and me on a golf course with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Rufus and I were tired that night. Our blood sugar was a little high because of the french fries. Mom says it's hard to guess how many carbs are in fries.

Sunday, March 17, 2002
We took Rufus with us to a weekend diabetes camp at Camp Arroyo in Livermore. The camp was run by the Diabetic Youth Foundation. They run the Bearskin Meadow Camp my mom and I went to a couple of summers ago in the Sequoia National Forest, just east of Fresno. Mom was helping at an information booth at camp for a couple of hours. Rufus, Emilie and I played in the mess hall. It was pouring down rain, so we had to stay inside. We were kind of bored. I shared my chicken legs with Rufus at lunch.

Thursday, March 21, 2002
Mom was in bed with a sinus infection for a few days, so Rufus and I helped Dad keep the house running. My blood sugar has been going really high after breakfast. Mom and Dad said I should eat non-sugary cereals, like Chex or regular Cheerios, for breakfast. The frosted Cheerios make my blood sugar skyrocket. Mom also is going to wake up before I do and give me my bolus at least a half hour before I wake up. She says the insulin will start doing its job before I start eating, so maybe my blood sugar won't spike after breakfast. (I already drink whole milk and eat two slices of bacon to try to keep my morning blood sugars from spiking.)

Rufus is lucky. His numbers have been pretty good. Most of them are in range. I think it's because he's stuffed.

Sunday, March 24, 2002
We took Rufus with us to Six Flags Marine World. The park was having a fund raiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Rufus stayed in my backpack for most of the day. I took him out to watch the sea lion and dolphin shows. We saw white tigers, walruses, giraffes, cheetahs and even a big white bunny on a leash. Rufus stayed safely in my backpack when Emilie and I fed sugar water to the lorikeets. They're birds that are real bright colored.

My mom works for the local newspaper, so she wrote a story about Rufus, me and my friends at Lydiksen. We want to tell everyone about how we need to find a cure for diabetes!

Mom's trip and her winter cold caused us to keep Rufus much longer than we were supposed to keep him. We all had a great time with Rufus and were sad to see him go. But we know he'll have a good time at other kids' homes. Maybe I'll get my own Rufus or Ruby bear someday.

The Francis Family - Zoe (Mom), Rick (Dad), Hannah (age 9; diagnosed at age 5 in April '98; pumping since October '99), Emilie (age 5), three dogs, two rats, two frogs and a few snails
Pleasanton, California (San Francisco Bay Area-East Bay)
Hannah and Rufus swing at Lydiksen Elementary School.

Rufus, Hannah and her friend, Megan Soldati, at Lydiksen Elementary School.

Hannah and her sister, Emilie, took Rufus to San Francisco's Pier 39 for lunch. Alcatraz is in the background.

Hannah and Rufus in San Francisco's Presidio National Park with the Golden Gate Bridge behind them.

Hannah and Rufus pose at Lydiksen Elementary School with (from left) teacher Ann Kyle, parent Danielle Munro, health clerk Diana Liggett, Principal Colleen Henry, teacher Martha Allen, fifth-grader Myles Davis and (seated) third-grader Jordan Larson. The students, Allen, Munro and Kyle's husband have Type 1 diabetes.

Rufus, Hannah and her sister, Emilie, enjoyed a fun day at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, which had a weekend fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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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 December 21, 2002 16:53:54
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