Meet Michael: 2021 Family Advocacy Week Champion
Michael is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from June 13-18, 2021. Through this special event, Michael and his family will discuss his health journey, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s role in providing Michael with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like him.
Michael was diagnosed with hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma at 19 years old. It’s a rare cancer affecting the liver, spleen and bone marrow.
“The care Michael has received at Nicklaus has been professional, caring and personalized,” says Ashlee, Michael’s mother. “The connection we have with the doctors is just amazing. We knew we were in the right place.”
Michael has gone through several kinds of treatment including chemotherapy, radiation, genetic testing and more. Six months ago, he had a bone marrow transplant and is still receiving other treatment, but he’s getting better each day.
“We felt adopted by our hospital family,” says Ashlee. “It brought us even closer together. We knew we had to pull through together as a family and in our community to support Michael.”
Managing his care and safety through the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult, according to his mom.
“In a way, for Michael, it has been good because everyone is wearing masks and more protected around him,” says Ashlee. “But we also have many more limitations that make it harder.”