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Meet Michael: 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion

Michael is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from August 10-14, 2020. Through this special event, Michael and his family will share information about his health journey, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s role in providing Michael with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Michael. 

Michael was diagnosed with apert syndrome—a genetic disorder causing skeletal abnormalities—at birth.

One of Michael’s nurses, a former patient at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Saint Paul, Minnesota, put the family in touch with a craniofacial surgeon. From there, the family met with the team of doctors that would care for Michael.

“I think, in our case, we did not have to get emotional, we needed to take action to get Michael ready to live his life as normal as possible,” says Patricia, Michael’s mother.

To date, Michael has had 30-plus surgeries in his 15 years. His care and treatment will continue through adulthood. His first, at just 5 months old, was to help give his brain space to grow. He’s also had hand, feet, craniofacial and dental surgeries, with each one supporting his long-term development.

Today, Michael is living with very few limitations. He likes learning about ships, watching sports, and playing his PS4.


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