ETMC celebrates annual Christmas tree lighting

East Texas Medial Center:

(KYTX) - East Texas Medical Center Tyler celebrated its 25th annual Christmas tree lighting on Tuesday with Whitehouse elementary student Jason Ackerly lighting the tree.

Ackerly, who has attended the ETMC Diabetes Boot Camp for children with Type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed at 5. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In Type 1, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

Ackerly is a fourth-grade-student at Brown Elementary in Whitehouse. He has received perfect attendance awards since kindergarten. He is a member of the National Elementary Honor Society, Cub Scouts, enjoys piano, tennis and karate and is a member of Dayspring Methodist Church. He wants to be a doctor who helps kids with diabetes. He has a twin sister named Michelle and has two older sisters, Kayla and Kristina. He's the son of Liisa and Paul Ackerly.

This is the third year for ETMC to use its living Christmas tree, which was planted as part of the Tyler tree initiative, created by Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass to promote tree conservation. Each year, an ETMC-related-patient with a special story serves as the hospital's tree lighting ambassador.


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