La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) ---- Children's Miracle Network Hospitals helps area children and their family through both the medical and financial struggles of a child's disease. 10 year old, Emily martell is one of those children.
While some of us live to eat Emily eats to live. Martell eats to live. "My mom worries about me a lot." Emily is 10 years old and other than being born a preemie her health was always fine. She likes makeup, music and hanging out in her room but 2 years ago something changed.
Roxanne Martell says she had a feeling something was wrong. "We went to the pool and I had to call him to bring more snacks because she ate everything. She ate and drank everything in sight. I had to call my husband to bring over more food."
Emily has type 1 Diabetes. Her mom, Roxanne says it was devastating. "It changes your whole family." Juvenile Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there are high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood.
Emily says she hates the way it makes her feel. "Sometimes when my blood sugar gets low I get really pale and really tired and when I'm really high I just go to sleep. I get really crabby." Mom says, "Her mood dictates the entire family." Dad, Greg says he's had to adjust how far he goes from home. "My cell phone never leaves my side. I use to like to fish and hunt. I still do but just closer to home and when school starts I stick around home."
Emily's 13 year old sister, Maria , has yet to make peace with the disease. "I don't know I found that like a lot of times...like when she first got diagnosed I felt like no one really understood and when I would talk to my friends I just felt really alone." Parents Roxanne and Greg say it's easy to think you're the only family going through this that is until Children's Miracle Network Hospitals stepped in. "They really helped us. You forget to eat. They gave us food vouchers. They even sent Emily to camp."
The Martell family says dealing with Emily's disease will be a lifelong adjustment but one that has brought them closer.
If the words of Emily's favorite Beatles song is right "All you need is love." This family will be alright.
"Camp Needlepoint" is a 1 week camp for children with diabetes. Emily got to see what if felt to be around people living with the disease. She said it was the best week of her life.
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