Rufus and Ruby, created nearly eight years ago by a mom whose son has type 1 diabetes, floated gently back to earth on October 9, 2002, after taking a one-week trip aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
The “bears with diabetes” have patches sewn on them to help children learn about the best spots on their own bodies for blood-glucose checks and insulin injections.
The idea to send Rufus and Ruby into space came from Graham Turner, age 7, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001.
“It’s so great that Rufus will get to go to space and see the stars – I wish I could go with him,” Graham said, according to a news release from Children With Diabetes.
In addition to going into outer space, Rufus and Ruby have visited children with diabetes on four continents. The bears’ travels are documented on the Children With Diabetes Web site at www.childrenwithdiabetes.com.