Djénie Michel, a nineteen year-old young woman born in the west of Port-au-Prince, grew up the eldest of four daughters, with her mother Manèse and stepfather Dabouse, loving to dance and spend time with her sisters.
Manèse and Dabouse are both craftsmen. They both create artistic paintings, bracelet, sandals, hats, and other articles of clothing and home goods. Despite both working full time and selling their works, they have not been able to achieve a stable enough income that adequately meets the needs of the family.
In November 2013, Djénie began to develop troubling symptoms. Typical of Type I diabetes, she was drinking excessive amounts of water, urinating far more frequently than usual, and rapidly losing weight. After a month without improvements, her mother brought her to the Little Brothers and Sisters Hospital, where it was discovered that she had Type I diabetes.
After the diagnosis, Manèse did her best to care for Djénie – buying insulin and equipment and monitoring her health. However, the rising cost of insulin and supplies made the maintenance impossible. While both Djénie’s mother and father did they best they could to keep up with the daily demands of her new diagnosis, as for many families in our community it proved beyond their means. After Djénie fell into a diabetic coma, her father rushed her to the Mirebalais University Hospital. She was subsequently transferred to us at Kay Mackenson, where she received comprehensive, wraparound, 24/7 care from our team.
Djénie learned how to care for her diabetes while living with us at KMC. Now able to manage her insulin and its monitoring, she was able to return to her mother's house, where she is comfortable, happy, and healthy. We are lucky enough to have Djénie present at our Diabetes Camp every year, where she teaches our younger patients dances and how to live fully with a diabetes diagnosis.
Thank you for being part of our family, Djénie!
Manieuse Alcius comes from a family of four girls and one boy. The youngest of the five, Manieuse is nearly 16 years old. Tragically, her father, with whom she was very close, died suddenly when she was a child of an unknown illness. A farmer with no formal education, the incident stands out as the most impactful of her young life.
Manieuse’s mother works as s shopkeeper and a farmer. Also not able to obtain formal academic schooling, her income is not robust enough to meet the needs of her children, particularly if one falls ill.
After the loss of Manieuse’s father, her husband, it became even more challenging. She ultimately married again, and Manieuese’s stepfather’s additional income has eased things for the family, though as for many Haitian communities, health care costs still remain stubbornly high. About three years ago, Manieuse began to develop signs and symptoms of type I diabetes – polyuria, polydipsia, weight loss, and more. During one of her more acute periods of these symptoms, a friend of her mother’s suggested bringing Manieuse to Hospital Saint-Nicolas (HSN) in Saint-Marc. It was here that Manieuse was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Shortly after, HSN transferred her to Kay Mackenson for more comprehensive care. Since then, Manieuse has been under the care of KMC.
Currently in her 7th year fundamental, in order to continue her studies, Manieuse is obliged to lodge with a family friend closer to the city. Unfortunately, this arrangement creates other compromises, including not always having access to a consistently diabetic-appropriate diet. This is one of the ways KMC has been able to support Manieuse. In order to maintain her insulin dosing, we know that the quality and regularity of a diet sensitive to the needs of those living with diabetes, and because of this Manieuse’s relationship with our clinical staff and social worker remain essential – for both her physical, mental, and emotional health.
We’re thrilled to have Manieuse in the KMC family.