The Little Red Sports Car JDRF Sold to Ford

red carA Guest Post by Eleanor Troutt

Eleanor asked if she could share her story and how could I refuse. She’s written three inspirational books, available world-wide, for kids with T1D.

I’m a senior citizen who happens to have type 1 diabetes. I say “happens to” because diabetes doesn’t define who I am – it’s just a nuisance which I have to keep close tabs on. I don’t want to minimize this disease because it can be a killer but, to me, it’s a wily opponent whom I’m constantly trying to outsmart. And, it’s given me something I’m still in awe of – three published books.

A few years ago I was asked to be a counselor at two summer camps for children with type 1 diabetes and their parents. I thought about what I could share with the children and an analogy formed in my mind. I could compare the changes that diabetes had made in my life to those of a little red sports car that developed a serious mechanical problem. I had always taken my body for granted until it suddenly ceased functioning smoothly and required a major adjustment. Similarly, the little car in my analogy developed a problem which required its owner to learn a complete new way to drive it.

At the end of each camp session there was an amateur evening where campers and counselors presented something for everyone’s enjoyment. I read the story of the little red sports car. Many of the parents were moved and some were in tears as they related it to what they and their child were going through. Several said I should put it into a book.

It was eight years before that became a reality, but with a lot of time and effort and a large measure of help from God, I finally got it out in book form.

Wanting to donate a portion of the sale of each book to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I made an appointment to see the CEO of JDRF in my area. She was intrigued and felt the book could be used as a fundraiser by the Ford Motor Company, which was a major sponsor of JDRF. With her help, things happened quickly – one Ford Motor Division after another put in orders for books which they sold and then donated the money to JDRF.

That got The Little Red Sports Car started on its journey and it has sold all over the world since.

Since then I’ve written two more books for children with type 1 diabetes. My second book, Winston the Amazing Dog, is about a guard dog for a circus, who watching the trainer teach one of the stunt riders a new trick, seizes the opportunity to show that he can do it too. People come to the circus just to see him perform, but then he gets diabetes and is devastated thinking his circus career is over. However, with the proper treatment, he performs again and goes on to become even more famous!  Diabetes doesn’t have to stop anyone from becoming anything they want to be.

My third book, Boots the Giant Killer, recounts the story of a little kitten who takes on a clever and wily opponent and wins.  Much as we who have diabetes have to do on a daily basis.

My hope is that my books give children hope that they can live a normal life in spite of diabetes – just with a few adjustments. And I can say that based on my own experience.

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