Author’s Message about "Purr-fect Pals"
When your child is newly diagnosed with diabetes, you experience shock, fear, and sadness. You can hardly breathe, let alone comprehend what the doctor is telling you. Disbelief is what you feel at first… “I really didn’t hear diabetes, the lab must have made a mistake,” echoes in your brain.
Then, you think… “How am I going take care of my child? I am so afraid that if I make a mistake I could kill him/her. How will I be able to handle all the changes in our lives? My beautiful, healthy child has a life-threatening disease… How could this have happened? What do I do next? Whom do I call?”
These are just some of the significant queries that are thrown from your brain, as if they were crushed boulders flung from a catapult. Your heart heaves like a treasure chest thrown overboard during a furious storm, which begins tumbling through murky water toward the bottom of the sea, not knowing where or when it will come to a peaceful resting place.
I can only speak from my experience and what other parents have shared with me. Of course, I had a tremendous advantage, our son Joshua was 15 years old and we were able to communicate about what we were thinking and feeling. However, for so many parents who have younger children, like my neighbors Ellen and Jimmy Day, their children cannot. Families need a resource they can use in the middle of the night, when they are waiting for a doctor’s appointment, and/or attempting to explain diabetes and their new management routine to friends, family members, and teachers.
When you and your child are suddenly initiated into the world of diabetes, you are in survival mode. You have urgent health issues and diabetes management becomes your priority.You also want to learn as much as possible about caring for your child. That learning process probably includes researching diabetes articles online and finding books about diabetes online or at your local bookstore or library.
I am confident that providing children and their families with Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes will immediately offer them comfort, education, and encouragement during the initial moments and months of confusion, inexperience, and distress.
I wrote Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes to share my family’s experiences and offer readers comfort and education while dealing with the challenges of diabetes. I am committed to helping children and their families understand and manage the “highs and lows” of living with diabetes.
My vision is to assure and encourage children diagnosed with diabetes that they are not alone; they have a “Purr-fect Pal” who knows exactly how they feel. The foundation for Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes is the true-life experiences of our son Joshua, who was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when he was 15-years old, and his cat, Luke Skywalker, who was diagnosed when he was 13-years old. In the story, Jack and Sky demonstrate a unique relationship because they share many of the same challenges with “purr-fect” understanding for one another.
My mission is to ensure that every child diagnosed with diabetes will enjoy reading Purr-fect Pals and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle from Jack’s and Sky’s experiences:
- Manage the physical and emotional aspects of diabetes
- Develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-caring
- Feel love, acceptance, and support from others, express themselves, and communicate with others about their concerns
- Identify and relate to emotions such as happy, sad, loved, scared, angry, shy, ashamed, confused, and proud
- Understand and accept new ideas because they have related to and connected with Jack and Sky
- Feel secure knowing they are not alone
I hope my book will offer children and their families comfort, courage for the changes and challenges, and clarity about new, overwhelming, or sophisticated issues, in an uncomplicated and entertaining format.
Purr-fect Pals is designed to make it easy and enjoyable for readers and listeners to:
Find comfort from the storyline and learn more about diabetes
- Color the black and white illustrations and give children the opportunity to personalize the Kid, the Cat, and the other story characters to look more like themselves and their family members.
- Use the Reader and Listener Guide to share how they feel about the story and characters, and talk about how they can apply to their lives what they learned
- Discover helpful hints in the Sick Day Box section
- Engage in entertaining and educational Fill-in-the-Blank Word Games
- Read the Kids’ Encouraging Messages and the Mom’s and Parents’ Comfort Companion Stories to ease the journey with diabetes
I hope someday this book will be obsolete because a cure for diabetes has been discovered. Until that time, 100% the proceeds from the sale of Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to find a CURE for DIABETES!