Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jerry The Bear for Eleanor

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As soon as Eleanor watched the video for the Jerry The Bear, she had her heart set on having him.  Of course, I cringed when I saw the price tag: $250  On the other hand, Jerry is just exactly right for her.  Even the cover photo here on the blog includes all of Eleanor's stuffed friends.

Every time she gets an insulin shot, she gets a "squeezy" friend to hug when the needle goes in.  She has specifically expressed dismay that she is "the only one," and Jerry is meant to help kids with Type 1 Diabetes feel less alone in the world.  So, there's no argument that Jerry The Bear is just what the doctor ordered.  But, there are so many other things she needs that are coming first right now.  So, while I think he will help her and make her feel better, comfort her, be a pal who has diabetes just like her, it was tough for me to make this purchase a priority. She saw the video and, oh! how she wanted Jerry.  Right away. I sat here thinking, 

"How am I going to justify this?" 
but on the other hand, "how am I ever going to tell her no?"

So, I sent a text message and asked Michael if he thought we could afford it.  He didn't answer… not a good sign.

Then I posted a wistful message on Facebook, with a link to the cute Jerry The Bear video, and my beloved friend John almost instantly set up a fund raiser to help gather donations for Eleanor to have her own Jerry The Bear.  We rocked and rolled along.  By mid afternoon we were nearly there.  Frankly, at this point, even just paying the difference feels far more tolerable than it would have to scrape up the whole thing.  I adore my fabulous friends and family.

I admit, I had a little twinge of guilt at the prospect of taking donations, we are not hurting for money. On the other hand.  Jerry is not for me.  Jerry is for Eleanor.  Somehow that changes everything.  I would not have bought him for her.  I would have just hoped that she forgot about him.

But, my friends and family both near and distant wanted to do this sweet thing for my little girl. Amazing!  I know what it's like to want to help, yet not know how.  So there's a blessing in that too.  This was a way for people who love her to touch her life.  John had a stolen phone returned to him yesterday, and he was in just the right frame of mind to, as he put it, "pay it forward." I'd like to think that this way, everyone wins. Especially because…

Eleanor posing with some of her "Squeezies." She holds onto a stuffed friend
each time she gets an insulin injection.  The Lantus she gets at night stings the most.

…by far the best thing to come out of all of this, is that it has inspired Eleanor's generous spirit as well.  She has decided to start an organization to help raise money to purchase Jerry the Bears for other kids who are young and newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  She plans to apply to the Davidson Young Scholar Ambassador Program so that she can have mentorship and support to help her new organization succeed.

She says when Jerry gets here, "I will make an alarm and I'll try and wake up as fast as I can, and I will give him juice, even if we're super busy, I will take care of him!"  Another way for her to foster that nurturing heart.

Eleanor brought her dog, "Anna Cuddles" with her to the Krew of Barkus Parade
so she could enjoy seeing all the other doggies!

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