Jayla: Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Jayla's smiling face

When their daughter, Jayla, was 10 months-old, her parents, LaToya and Dan, noticed unexplained weight loss. She was drinking more bottles than usual, and her diapers needed frequent changing, more than her siblings’ at that age. Concerned, LaToya took Jayla to a local emergency room.

In military school at Fort Gordon, Dan received the frightening news: Jayla, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, needed to be airlifted to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. At Johns Hopkins, doctors admitted Jayla to the pediatric intensive care unit. He packed a bag and joined his wife and family.

While there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes, it is manageable and with the right care Jayla could live a normal life, her parents were told. Before she could be discharged, LaToya and Dan had to learn how to inject Jayla with the insulin required to keep her alive.

Today, Jayla is insulin-dependent, but thanks to an insulin pump, she no longer needs shots. The pump regulates her glucose levels and provides the needed amount of insulin to keep her stable.

Today, Jayla, 6, lives a happy, healthy life, returning to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center every three months for check-ups to ensure her treatment plan is effective.  She loves playing soccer and basketball, and her favorite subjects are math and science. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Listen to Jayla's story