I am passionate about encouraging, educating and offering comfort to
families who deal the never-ending challenges of diabetes management!
In 2002, while I was attending the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, I began writing Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat and Diabetes. Purr-fect Pals is a picture book for children with diabetes and the true-life experiences of our son, Joshua, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was fifteen years old (23 years ago) and his cat, Luke Skywalker, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was thirteen years old and lived to be 18 years old.
When I completed the manuscript I began searching for a publisher. While chatting with my dear friend Doris Schriebman, who works Ascend Therapeutics about Purr-fect Pals, she mentioned that her friend, Rob Esgro, worked at SLACK, Inc., a health care book publisher. I immediately contacted Rob, who introduced me to John Bond, Vice President of Health Care Books and Journals at SLACK.
That introduction was a serendipitous blessing. John became my friend and my publisher for What Color Is Your Brain?. However, I’ll save that story for a future post.
At first, John was not sure about my unconventional idea and how it could work. He hadn’t discovered what a “tenacious terrier” I am. However, over the years John has become a devoted champion for Purr-fect Pals.
In my story “Josh” and “Sky”, demonstrate a unique relationship because they share many of the same challenges with “purr-fect” understanding for one another.
The “Kid” and the “Cat,” learn to live with the “highs” and “lows” of diabetes. As the characters’ lives mirror one another, the sequence of events help teach children they are not alone, and they can achieve their heart’s desire by transforming life’s many obstacles into opportunities. Through the characters’ perspectives, readers learn detailed information about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including how they are diagnosed and managed through medication, education, diet and exercise.
A plush toy “Cat” accompanies the book and wears a collar that is a diabetes medical ID bracelet, which can be removed and worn by the child. I included the “Cat” to assist the child’s understanding about diabetes, help them accept their new life style, enhance how they express their feelings and encourage non-judgmental communication about their concerns.
The book has an interactive guide, which offers the readers a vehicle to share and voice their feelings and perceptions about diabetes. The guide’s question and answer format allows children and adults to dialog and process the storyline for clarity, understanding and application in their lives. There also is a glossary and three different word games, which provide time to reflect and reinforce facts about diabetes while having fun.
The book will be illustrated by Carol Koeller, with engaging black and white line drawings that offer children the opportunity to color the pictures and personalize the characters. A resource guide and 10 “Comfort Companion Stories,” which is anthology of anecdotal stories, provide the parents and/or care givers knowledge, comfort and encouragement. Adults often are in a state of confusion and concerned about how to appropriately care for their child.
My “purr-fect” goal is to collaborate with a diabetes pharmaceutical or devise company. I am offering them the opportunity to be a Partner in the Purr-fect Pals Project. The Partner would sponsor the book and their Sales Representatives would give Purr-fect Pals and the “Cat” to health care providers, who would offer the book and “Cat” to families when their child is diagnosed with diabetes.
My “purr-fect” mission is to ensure that every child diagnosed with diabetes has a copy of Purr-fect Pals and the “Cat” to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle from the examples in the book.
Diabetes is insidious! It has reached epidemic proportions, and health care providers no longer have the time or resources to offer additional education and support to families who are struggling to deal with the shock and new diabetes management routine in their life.
I am confident that Purr-fect Pals will offer the children and their families the reassurance and information that is critically needed.
At this time, John and I are talking to a diabetes pharmaceutical company to be the Sponsor/Partner for Purr-fect Pals Project. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Beginning next week, I will share one of the Purr-fect Pals “Comfort Companion Stories” on my blog for the next 10 week.
Even if diabetes is not part of your life, I will be thrilled if the stories resonated with you. Please, if find a specific story inspiring, educational and/or encouraging, share it with others, especially individuals who deal with the never-ending challenges of diabetes!
Sheila N. Glazov ~ Author ~ Speaker ~ Educator ~ Personality Type Expert
Please, visit my website to learn more about your Brain Colors, my What Color Is Your Brain? book and workshops. 10% of the royalties from the sale of my book is allocated to JFRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
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