Elle and Coach

Stefany Shaheen is the mother to Elle Shaheen. She shares the story of her daughters Type 1 diagnosis, the fears and frustrations that come from living with this disease, and how as a family they decided to never give up hope. After a few hospital visits and a seizure the family welcomes Coach, a medic-alert dog who is able to give some comfort for the first time in their diabetes world.

I was approached to write a review of Elle and Coach back in September. My first reaction was, "do I really want to read a book about a girl and her medic-alert dog"? I am so glad I didn't go with my gut reaction, or else I would have missed out on a great read. I couldn't put this book down. I finished it in two days, and recommended it to my mom after the 4th chapter. I could easily connect with this family's story. While reading about their struggles, I remembered experiencing the same struggles. Their frustrations, were my frustrations. All I wanted to do was encourage Stefany that it was going to be ok, it will get better over time. It's been so long since I have read a book and identified with it as much as I did.

The thing that I loved the most about this family was how they refused to let diabetes stop them from living. I admired Elle for not giving up on the things that she loved. I was older when I was diagnosed, and thought dance had to go, but here is this 8 year old who knew better than I did and I respect her for it. I love that she still embraced life by performing in theatre and going to summer camp. But what I loved most of all was her want to make things better not only for herself, but others as well. Her participation in medical studies, attending the JDRF's Children's Conference to helping put on the conference blew my mind. All I could think about was how this girl is going places.

This book is for anyone looking for some hope in a tough situation. It  shows a mother's love and devotion and shares a message to never give up. Truly a great read.


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