Stories about: Division of Endocrinology

Makayla’s story: Living with Leri-Weill Dyschondrosteosis

Makayla hip dysplasia lead image

Our daughter Makayla was born perfectly healthy on April 5th, 2014, passing all of the usual newborn screenings without issue. From day one, her personality shone through. She was strong-willed and had a smile that would light up her eyes before her mouth even showed a hint of joy. But over the next 3 months, Makayla wasn’t eating well and wasn’t gaining enough weight.  Our pediatrician referred us to Dr. Elizabeth Hait, a gastroenterologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hait would change Makayla’s formula multiple times and put her on medication for her acid reflux. Her pediatrician also tested her for a milk allergy, since her brother had one as an infant, but it was negative. It was recommended Makayla have an upper GI to make sure everything was anatomically correct.

The technician suggested everything looked good, so we left feeling that Makayla was perfectly normal. But a call from her doctor that afternoon turned our world upside down.

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How to survive six months in the wilderness with Type 1 diabetes

Hiking in Vermont

Every January, for a few short weeks, the population of picturesque Marlow, New Hampshire, grows just a little larger.

A dozen or so high school students converge upon the storybook New England village to begin preparation for an epic adventure: a 600-mile circumnavigation of Vermont by backcountry ski, white water canoe, rowboat and bicycle, led by Marlow-based wilderness school Kroka Expeditions.

Under the mentorship of guides and woodsmen, the students learn skills to navigate the six-month, semester-long journey through the wilderness. There is no “how to” book, no survival guide—just a few unwritten rules to live by. But 18-year-old Rachel Hemond, who has Type 1 diabetes, doesn’t need much direction when it comes to survival.

She’s figured that out on her own.

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