UPDATE: Michaela Wells has been found safe! Thank you to everyone in our community for getting the word out and helping to find Michaela.
The search continues for Michaela Wells, IAFFPE’s Educational Ambassador. In the past 24 hours, there has been increasing coverage of the story in local, national, and international media, but little new information.
Thanks to your efforts, our Facebook post has been viewed by 20,000+ people and shared more than 400 times. Please continue to get the word out–and keep Michaela and her family in your thoughts!
Michaela is very special to IAFFPE, and we are heartsick at the news of her disappearance. We wanted to take a moment to highlight the work she has been doing in our FPIES community by sharing this blog post announcing her role as IAFFPE Education Ambassador. Please take a moment to learn about this inspiring young woman. Let’s bring her home!
IAFFPE is proud to announce Michaela Wells as our first Education Ambassador. Our Education Ambassador program gives siblings and older children with FPIES the opportunity to raise awareness, share their stories and make a difference in our community.
15-year-old Michaela is proud to promote FPIES as her platform during her reign as Miss Nebraska Teen through the USA National Miss Scholarship Organization. It’s a cause dear to her family: her three-year-old brother Kainen has FPIES.
Like many FPIES families, the road to Kainen’s diagnosis was long and filled with worry and confusion. His struggles with food began shortly after birth and continued through multiple hospitalizations until he was finally diagnosed with FPIES at 17 months old.
These days, most of Kainen’s diet consists of medical formula (Elecare Jr.) and his favorite leafy greens, berries, and salmon. He is FPIES to dairy, soy, eggs, beef, poultry, legumes, and brown rice.Today, Kainen is seen by the team at the Food Hypersensitivity Clinic at Omaha Children’s Hospital and Specialty Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Michaela is committed to raising FPIES awareness and sharing her family’s story in the hope of preventing other children from going undiagnosed. She also brings an important message that life with FPIES is a family affair, and siblings play a crucial role. She wants children and siblings living with FPIES to know that communication and knowledge are empowering tools. After all, siblings and older children with FPIES can play an important role in educating teachers, other family members, friends, and the public about this condition.
As she prepares for her trip to the USA National Miss Pageant in June, she’s sharing her activities and platform here. Everything she raises beyond funding her trip to Nationals will be donated to IAFFPE.
Since May, Michaela has been hosting a booth at a local farmer’s market with FPIES-friendly baked goods that are free of dairy, soy and eggs. She also has a backdrop display of the products her family uses in place of Kainen’s trigger foods, as well as information from IAFFPE about FPIES and how it affects her brother and other kids like him. On Labor Day, Michaela hosted a “Queen Meet and Greet” table at the Nebraska State Fair, where she signed autographs, spoke about FPIES, and handed out educational materials to raise awareness.
In addition to attending the FPIES Education Conference in October, she’ll attend a VIP Reception in the Atlanta for her National Dress Sponsor, Bravura, where she’ll spread the word about FPIES with fellow guests who are always on the lookout for a worthy cause to support. In November, she’ll have an informational table on FPIES at Worldfest with kid-friendly activities and a short presentation onstage to address the crowds. Michaela is also in the process of starting up a benefit pageant entitled “Royalty for FPIES” to benefit IAFFPE and families living with FPIES.
As our Education Ambassador, Michaela looks forward to sharing her message of hope, education, and empowerment with all FPIES families! We are so impressed by this busy, accomplished young lady and thankful for the work she is doing on behalf of our community.