It's easy to find excuses not to reach our dreams ... Especially after getting a serious medical diagnosis, but Brad Drazen introduces us to a young Connecticut girl who isn't letting diabetes keep her from the spotlight.
A young artist's pursuit of perfection is never through. From the rehearsal studio to bar exercises at home, 11 year old Emily Dylewski is dedicated to dance.
"It’s really hard work, but I never get bored, ever."
But the time she spends here is far from her biggest challenge.
"She was five. She was in kindergarten."
Emily's mom, Ann, remembers the illness her daughter just couldn't kick.
"I brought her in to the office and they just tested her urine, came back into the room and said, 'she has juvenile diabetes, she needs to go to the hospital right away."
It was overwhelming, with talk of blood sugar tests and counting carbs.
"My initial reaction is I’m never going to be able to go back to work again."
The insulin shots and blood tests started the very next day and they continue now 6 years later. But this self assured 6th grader doesn't let anything stand in her way.
"Kids with diabetes, they can do anything that any of us can do."
Sometimes more, Emily spends some 14 hours a week in dance classes and rehearsals which puts a lot of strain on her insulin starved body.
"I’m doing a lot of strenuous activity, like especially when I’m out in the middle of the floor. We're doing leaps and jumps and everything."
This pump is her life support but can be removed when she's dancing.
These days that's even more often. Emily's been cast as Clara, the lead role in the Connecticut concert's ballet production of the nutcracker.
"I’m really excited. I'm on the stage for almost 2 hours, almost straight and anytime I get off stage I don't have much time to check my blood sugar."
One day perhaps that won't be an issue.
"Our hope that one day is that there will be a cure."
But until then this budding artist will continue to hone her craft, unfazed by her illness and unwilling to let that dazzling smile fade.
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