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Friday, September 7, 2012

Finding help in the most unexpected places.

Ever since we decided to try to get Bella a Diabetes Alert Dog we have enjoyed great support from family, friends and strangers. I have mentioned that in several of these posts and am still in awe of the kindness and compassion of the people around us. This experience has renewed and invigorated old relationships with childhood, high school and college friends. We are not that far into it and the time and effort we've put in has been worth it just for those rewards. It's also been a very sublime experience. Balancing the dreaded thoughts of "what could we have done differently" and "how could we let our 2 year old get diabetes" are thoughts of "wow, what did I ever do to make this person I haven't talked to in twenty years want to help us."

What's been spinning in my brain lately is the unlikely partnerships we've struck up and how unexpected they have been.

The opportunity we have with the Craven Chocolate Explosion! is one of those unlikely alliances. It came about through timing and the wonderful mother / mother in law of some wonderful friends. What's more unlikely than a Chocolate Festival sponsoring a Type-1 Diabetic kid? It really is perfect. We have received so much support from this group and they are going above and beyond to spread the word and Bella's story. The Chocolate Explosion is being organized by the Family History Society of Eastern North Carolina. They have been so wonderful to work with and we can't thank them enough for choosing to help our family.

Perhaps the biggest surprise has come from the tattoo industry. Kat and I both have our fair share of tattoos, but we are not what you might call active in the tattoo community. About 18 years ago I completed about half of an apprenticeship before realizing that wasn't what I needed to be doing at the time for a lot of reasons. In early August I had an old friend, who I had lost contact with when he left to do his apprenticeship, ask if he could do some benefit tattoos for Bella's dog. We thought it was a great idea, but weren't really sure what to expect. As word got out it quickly grew beyond any expectation that we had. All of a sudden we were receiving encouragement from people within the tattoo community. There was custom made tattoo machine made and auctioned for Bella. And then another. Another studio is planning a raffle for her, and we've been told that a group of artists in Oregon is working on something. It turns out that within the big burly scary tattoo industry there is a very tight sense of compassion and family, whether you know them or not. We are forever grateful to Phoenix Tattoo Studio, Matt Mebane, Rob Rutherford, Aaron Moodie for all that you've done, and to everyone who is planning or have just reached out to us. We appreciate everything greatly. Thank you to everyone who was tattooed for the benefit or bid on a machine we appreciate that too.

The Tattoo Industry has raised close to $1800 toward Bella's dog in about a month.

You never know exactly where you can find help, support and inspiration.

By Request of Matt Mebane- Bella with the proceeds from her fund raiser.

Glitter Puppy by Rob Rutherford Machine Works
 Aaron Moodie Machines

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