I also had a chance to meet four very cool young men and women in person: Alyssa Heal, Sydney Mahon and Jason Ratterman, all seventh graders, and Dezaree Heath, an eighth grader, all type-1 diabetics. I didn't have much time to talk to Jason, but by his demeanor it was obvious he was a positive, funny kid, and he did smile and admit he's ready for summer! Sydney told me she's been type-1 since second grade and remembers parties and celebrations, thinking, "I just wanted to do what other kids did."
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I've talked to Alyssa before and Dezaree was in one of Mr. Fletcher's classes. So I know Alyssa is always upbeat and cheerful. Dezaree, has been a diabetic since age 2, and it was clear she has a great sense of humor. Sydney was wonderful, too. "Sometimes, I don't really want to deal with it, but I have to," she admitted when I asked if being a type-1 diabetic ever got her down. But the young lady was SMILING the whole time we talked.
It's an honor to ride in the name of them all.
Mr. Fletcher's students were great--especially considering the fact it was their last full day of school--and they were trapped listening to me. So I showed them some of the pictures from my trips and places I hope to see this summer (Yosemite National Park, for example) and we handed out fund-raising letters for JDRF to anyone who was interested. So: a great "thank you" to Dave and his eighth graders for allowing me to visit and for a very warm welcome.
|Dezaree Heath, Alyssa Heal, Sydney Mahon and Jason Ratterman|