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Brooklyn P.

Brooklyn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 2 years old. She always dealt with it like a champ. Never complained, rarely cried. She dealt with the countless needles and stabs like a hero. However, over the last year or so, it all had become too much. She was depressed, defeated. Every high and low of her blood sugar affected her moods and thoughts. At only 9 she started self harming and had thoughts of suicide. When your 9 year old tells her she has thoughts about ending her life so she doesn't have to deal with the pain anymore, as a parent you're not really sure where to turn. Her father has always battled his own mental health issues, and found jiu jitsu a couple years ago. Brooklyn showed little interest, but he decided to bring her along for a free first class. 

By her second class, her instructor let her live roll since she caught on so quickly. She arm bared a grey/white belt on her second day. When I saw her get mount, and then her little wheels start turning, going through the steps of how to bait and set it all up in her head. I of course didn't want to be an insane parent but I was screaming in my head. Brooklyn finally found something that SHE can control. We all know you can't control every aspect of jiu jitsu, but when you've lived quite literally you're entire life with no real control over your body. When Brooklyn rolls/competes, she is in control. She can control how she reacts to a situation. She can control what her body does, and most of the time control another person. 

Diabetes of course doesn't disappear. Unfortunately it shows its stupid head during every class. There have been days that are hard to learn and retain information because she is so high she's fuzzy. Or had to stop and take a break to eat because she's dropped so quickly. That's just part of the game with this stupid disease. However, since BJJ things are different. It doesn't depress her. If she can do BJJ, she can do anything! Even kick D butt. 
I'm reaching out for the scholarship because after several months of training, and competing with amazing success, we've run into huge financial difficulties. My grandmother recently passed away. We have brought in my aunt, who has autism to live with us. She has been a blessing but it is very expensive. Shortly after my mother is dealing with some pretty significant issues, and we have had to bring her into our home as well. Brooklyn has not been able to train for a little over a month. I can see her slipping into her old, angry self. I have to do something to get her back onto the mat.

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