Feel the Love

Yesterday Judah and I had another adventure! We went to one of the local middle schools and met with their 8th grade health classes. It was a wonderful experience for both Judah and me, we met a bunch of great kids, got to share our story (from beginning to now) and got to meet several children who know exactly what it’s like to be touched by the big D. I spoke to each class telling them about how I find Judah, how I was diagnosed, how Judah began working, how much diabetes sucks, how having a service dog is great AND complicated, and how to pick up and keep moving forward.

What amazed me the most was that each and every student listened intently to my story. I remember 8th grade, I remember how hard it was to sit and listen when the sun was beating down and spring had so clearly sprung. I was pretty thorough in my story telling and my description of my new life so there weren’t a whole lot of questions but the ones that were asked were great. I met several kids whose mothers were diabetic and using the pump! I guess there are far more local type 1 diabetics than I ever thought, it was kind of exciting to find out- it seems rather obvious now… I mean there is a diabetes center in town, they must have business right?

I can honestly say that the highlight of our middle school adventure was the third and final class that I spoke to. When I returned to the classroom (after lunch) the health teacher (and close friend) informed me that there was a special guest in the class. She introduced me to a young student (an 8th grader that was not in any of the classes we visited), he had been excused from his class so he could come in and meet us. He is a type 1 using a pump too! He has been type 1 for a lot longer than I have and even shared some of his scariest hypo stories with us. He was a fantastic, kind, and respectful young man who seemed just as excited to meet us as we were to meet him. At the end of our talk the students filed out to go play capture the flag and I stole an extra couple of minutes with him. He told me about a D camp that he goes to in the summer pretty close to where we live. We chatted for a few minutes and I gave him my e-mail as well as my blog address and asked him to keep in touch with me. I would like to put together a D camp at the local resort I work at seasonally and figured I may have found a great resource in this well spoken young man.

He took the post-it note I gave him with my information and made his way into the hall. He turned back and smiled and said, “I really want to get a dog like that someday” then went to head back down the hall. Ugh, way to tug on my heart strings kid!

“Hey”, I said and he turned back to me, “You stay in touch with me.” He nodded and smiled again.
“Really though, I am hoping that in about a year I will be ready to start training dogs again. You stay in touch with me and I can help you.” All I can say is I REALLY hope he does. He deserves the independence and confidence that Judah has given me and it seemed to me like he would be a fantastic handler as well as a great advocate for service dogs and diabetes.

It really was a great day, it left me feeling good. Truly, good. All I want to know is that I am making a difference, even if it is small and only matters to a few people. I had big dreams and big plans for my life when I was young, as time has passed and things have changed I haven’t always been sure that it was possible- yesterday reminded me that things can change and we can still put one foot in front of the other and that’s all it takes. Just steps. Steps towards what you want, with those steps you make progress. Progress is all we can really ask for, I mean it’s about the journey right?


33 thoughts on “Feel the Love

  1. Thank you so much for coming to our school! It was great listening to your story and I was absolutely fascinated. Judah seems like the coolest dog ever from what I’ve heard and seen. He’s so calm in front of big crowds like our class!! Dogs like that are hard to find! But, again, thank you so much for coming!

    Sincerely, Emily Cormier, Block 4 health (the last class)

    • Thank YOU so much Emily! It was truly a pleasure and I was honored to be there. You were all so kind and it was a good feeling to share our story. Judah is a very special dog and I am so lucky that we found each other!

      Warm Wags,
      Emilie & Judah ❤

  2. Emilie,
    Thank you for coming to school and sharing your day with all of us. You and Judah made a very positive impression. Thank you for your honesty, candor and inspiration to be the best we each can be even when life is challenging. You would have had no idea how your talk fit into what we have been learning so perfectly. Young people need good role models to be inspired and how to make good decisions in their own lives. You did so much teaching by just being yourself ..and Judah totally being himself too!
    Blessings to you,

  3. Thank you Emilie for coming into our class yesterday. I loved hearing your and Judah’s stories. They seemed like an amazing adventure! I also just wanted to agree with you and the student who also had type 1 diabetes about how the pump makes giving insulin easier. My mom has a pump with a sensor, and it helps her so much. It saves her a lot of time and a lot of finger pricking.
    Sincerely, Ally Norris-Parsons ( last class in health)

    • You are so welcome Ally! I am glad that your mother has had success with her pump, I am still getting the hang of it- but I KNOW it will only get better 🙂

      Warm Wags,
      Emilie & Judah

  4. That must have been a really cool experience to go and talk to local students about your life with diabetes. It also must have been nice to realize that there are more people with type one diabetes than you expected. I am glad that you and judah found each other and hope that things just keep getting better for you both!

  5. I didn’t know that having diabetes was so challenging. I also didn’t know that a dog would be able to tell if your blood sugars were too high or low. I learned a lot from your blog, Thank you

  6. It’s too bad that you couldn’t have come into our class this year im sure it would have been a great experience. Although reading your blog was very interesting and informing as well.

  7. If anyone is telling you that you can’t make a difference then that means that they haven’t tried. So don’t listen to them and just keep your head held high and believe in yourself. It must have been really cool to go to a middle school and talk to the classes but I think you should widen the horizon of people that know and understand. Spread the news to all ages that might not understand. Some people may think that you don’t need a dog to help you but everyone is different. So just keep doing what you’re doing. It is making a difference. You are making a difference.

  8. Dear Emilie,
    You make a huge difference in everybody. Me reading this story really touched me. Its incredible how you had a conversation with somebody a bit younger than you with the same problem as each other. You guys are able to communicate just well and understand you eachother. Stay strong and keep up the great work!
    Sincerely, A.W

  9. I havent seen you in my class, but i would love to. i wish i had so i could hear some of your stories and learn a little more about how a service dog notifies you.

  10. I know you said that it would be hard for a group of eighth grade students to sit and listen to you. But really, your story is so interesting that I wouldn’t be shocked that they all listened with sure attentiveness. The fact that you have a dog to help you is really cool and interesting and the fact that you were able to share your experiences with the class is pretty awesome.

  11. I think that what the 8th grade boy had said was great. And also it was cool how everyone was into your story, I know I would be!

  12. I think it is great that you have come to our school to share your story it deserves to be shared people should know. Thank you for what you have taught me.

  13. tyler is an awesome person and one of my good friends i always ask him about the pump the he has to wear and he tells me what it does and how it works.

  14. Hi I’m an 8th grader in the school you came to last year, and I really wish that you could come this year and tell us about your experiences and how having type 1 (and a service dog) has affected your life and how you think about things. I guess I’ll have to be content with reading your blog.

  15. Hi, This year im an 8th Grader at the very school that you visited last year. Im so very glad that everyone at our school made you feel as welcome, and pleased as they did. I think you’re an inspiration to those with T1.

  16. I can’t believe some people (others in public) would be so mean to you. You seem so nice and you teach people lots of things. Your teaching those kids to respect other people like you and others for the future, and it must be really nice to know there are other people who go through the same thing you do on a regular basis. learning to understand you is like learning to understand autism. (My brother has it.) It takes quite a while to get used to, but we all learn right? :3

  17. I think its great that you go to kid’s schools to educate them about “the big D”. That is my school and it’s too bad you couldn’t come back this year for our 8th grade class

  18. OMG! I went to school with him for a few years. I think its great that you inform kids about diabetes because they might know someone that has it and they dont really want to share their stories with anybody, so people know what it is like to have diabetes.

  19. It is nice to hear that you are expressing your feels and how it is like to go through diabetes, even thoguh it must be tough to come out and say how you feel.

  20. It is amazing how many people live with diabetes. It is truly spectacular that you are sharing your story with so many people. Thank you for sharing!

  21. Thank You for sharing your stories, Judah is an amazing dog.
    its nice that you included younger people and are encouraging them.

  22. thank you for sharing your adventure with Judah! i would really hope you come to my school and visit sometime! I Tyler is one of my best friends and he is doing really well, and I agree, Tyler is very responsible, and could easily maintain a service dog. good luck with the D camp, and hopefully Tyler and you stay in touch!

  23. I think it is great that you can relate to other people, educate people about diabetes, and have the strength to tell your story. I’m happy for you that the students at the school were interested in it. I would love to have you come to my school and have you tell your story here!

  24. I am also in 8th grade and I think it is great that you travel and share your stories with different people and students. It would be nice to meet you and your dog sometime!

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