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patient story

Emily Michel

the road to healthy

Emily Michel is a Dayton Children’s ambassador. There is no better person to share their experience about Dayton Children’s than a child or teenager who is a patient. Throughout the year, these Dayton Children’s “ambassadors” attend fundraising opportunities and media events to benefit the hospital.

Emily Michel stood up in front of the entire 4th grade class at Englewood Elementary School and shared her deepest, darkest secret… she has Type 1 diabetes. 90 mouths dropped to the floor that day when she explained that many famous celebrities also have Type 1 diabetes, including Miss Idaho, singer Nick Jonas, and even a judge on the Supreme Court Justice.

“Emily was instantly accepted by her class after we shared with her entire grade about her condition,” shares her mother Cecilia. “Young kids didn’t understand why Emily would make herself bleed multiple times a day. We explained that being a Type 1 diabetic simply means your pancreas works on the outside of your body. The kids couldn’t believe that famous people who have accomplished so much also had the same chronic condition.”

Emily was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 17 months old after what her mom describes as an “all-nighter.”

“She refused to eat that day and I couldn’t get her to go to sleep,” Cecilia shares. I took her for a drive for the first time in my life in the middle of the night just trying to get her to fall asleep. She kept begging for milk, which I thought was odd at 3:00 am, but I gave her a little. She finally fell asleep and the next day I discovered her entire crib from top to bottom was soaked in urine.”

Cecilia’s mother’s intuition kicked in and she made an appointment with Craig Horn, MD, PriMed Huber Heights, Emily’s pediatrician. As soon as Cecilia shared Emily’s symptoms, something clicked and she instantly knew, Emily was diabetic.

Emily’s blood glucose results at Dayton Children’s emergency department confirmed that the Michel family’s life was about to change completely and becoming a diabetes expert would be their family’s highest priority.

“Emily spent three days at Dayton Children’s in intensive care while physicians worked non-stop to stabilize her blood sugar while simultaneously teaching us how to count every carb that would go into her body for the rest of her life,” shares Cecilia.

The Michel family learned about shots and pokes and eventually insulin pumps that Emily wears now to remain healthy. Her latest pump is a pod that gives more flexibility and control over her diabetes because the pump helps to manage her insulin levels and delivers doses of insulin throughout the day. Also, free of wires, it allows her to do one of her favorite activities – hula dance, complete with a grass skirt.

But the road to healthy hasn’t always been easy for Emily.

“Diabetes complicates everything,” explains Cecilia. “Emily also has asthma, which has led to inpatient stays because the steroids spike her blood sugar. And even something like a normal stomach bug can cause a hospital stay because it wreaks havoc on her blood sugar.”

Today, Emily’s A1C results are the best she’s had since diagnosis. The staff at Dayton Children’s has been with Emily through every shot along the way.

“Her favorites are Paul Breyer, MD, endocrinologist, ‘Ms. Sue’ at the Vandalia Testing Center and Amanda in the emergency department who has ‘Bravery Awards.’ They have all played such a big role in her life through every trip to Dayton Children’s.”

Emily Michel video

living with Type 1 Diabetes

Watch Emily's story of being diagnosed and living with Type 1 Diabetes.