If there’s one thing Michelle Hamill has learned in two seasons of filming her own TLC reality show, it’s that “perfect is boring.” The Annapolis native says that when her family, who all have achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, was first approached with the idea of appearing on a television show, she was nervous. But now, looking back, she says, “It’s been a wonderful experience.” Moms from all around the country have written her to say how she’s an inspiration for parents everywhere.
Michelle’s parenting journey with husband Dan started right here at Anne Arundel Medical Center, where all three of their children were born. “Since I was having a C-section, the team of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals put together an individualized care plan for me,” Michelle says. Wanting to give back, she became a founding member of the Women’s and Children’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee, which is made up of former patients and staff who come together regularly to share ideas to improve the patient and family experience.
“Michelle was a very determined child,” says Maureen Parisi, Michelle’s mom, who has worked in various administrative roles at AAMC for almost 25 years. “When Michelle was growing up, she had jobs at home, like sorting the laundry. We had stools all over the house to encourage her independence. If she wanted a glass of water, she got a chair and got it herself—and that’s how she’s raising her kids. When I go over to their house for dinner, my six-year-old grandson Jack asks if he can get me a glass of water.”
Because she is playing herself and not a character, Michelle is as beautiful and confident in person as she is on TV. “I want to teach my children to have a voice,” she says. “I am raising them to be kind, independent people and enjoy life. My mother taught me that my size was never the reason why I couldn’t do something,” she says. “If I want to go rock climbing, I can.”