Make a Wish

Cystic fibrosis is a terrible disease, one which compromises lung function and leads to systemic organ degradation, slowed growth and physical weakness. Once nearly always fatal in early childhood, the condition can be managed via modern medicine, but the sufferer will always be in a disease management regimen.

For someone with cystic fibrosis, what we would consider a “normal life” is just not a reality. Alyssa Braden, 13, of Garland, Texas, suffers from cystic fibrosis, and wanted nothing more than to be a soldier in the United States Army. For three days, the Make A Wish Foundation, and the 193rd Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, made her wish come true.


Private wish: Teen fulfills dream of being a Soldier


By Cursha Pierce-Lunderman, Fort Jackson Leader

FORT JACKSON, Sc.c. — Alyssa Braden could have had any wish in the world fulfilled. But — in lieu of meeting a celebrity or visiting a theme park — the diminutive teen chose to get down and dirty.

Her wish? To join the Army.

The 13-year-old from Texas has spent the past week training with battalions in Fort Jackson's 193rd Infantry Brigade through coordination with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Alyssa participated in morning physical training sessions, rappelled down

Victory Tower, conducted convoy training missions, qualified on an M16, and saw the life that she would live as a Soldier in training.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation allows children to dream big by granting a “wish” to those suffering from a life-threatening medical condition. Alyssa said she chose joining the Army as her wish because her cystic fibrosis makes it impossible for her to enlist in the future due to Department of Defense medical restrictions.

“My uncle was in the Army and he's my favorite uncle,” Alyssa said. “When I saw him, I just always thought of him as a hero and I wanted to be like him.”

During recent family discussions, Alyssa and her family realized that she would have some trouble joining the Army.

“We have been talking to recruiters with her older sister,” said Alyssa's mother, Maggie Braden. “When Alyssa found out about asthma issues in the Army, she was devastated because she knows what she has is much worse than that.”

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system characterized by the body's production of unusually thick, sticky mucus that often clogs the lungs, leading to life-threatening lung infections. Those who suffer from the disease often deal with wheezing and shortness of breath, frequent lung infections and persistent coughing.

Now, more than 13 months ago after being referred to the Make-A-Wish, she was able to see her wish fulfilled. She said her time with the Soldiers and drill sergeants at Fort Jackson has lived up to her dreams.

More at the link.
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Cross posted on Truth Before Dishonor

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: She could have wished to meet Justin Bieber; instead she just wanted to be a soldier! « Truth Before Dishonor

  2. “Cystic fibrosis is a terrible disease, one which compromises lung function and leads to systemic organ degradation, slowed growth and physical weakness. Once nearly always fatal in early childhood, the condition can be managed via modern medicine, but the sufferer will always be in a disease management regimen.”

    —-
    Private Health Insurance at Work: Hassling Cystic Fibrosis Patients

    Let’s put health care in a real, personal context:

    Deron Arnold, brother of one of my wife’s old school friends, is 36, a pathologist in Minnesota. He has a wife, twin 3-year-old sons… and cystic fibrosis. That means, among other things, his body overproduces mucus, making it hard for his lungs to work.

    Deron pays Blue Cross Blue Shield for his health coverage. Yesterday he got a letter from the Blue Cross Blue Shield saying that as of October 28, the company will no longer cover expenses at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis, where Deron plans to have his transplant. As of August 23, Blue Cross Blue Shield will stop covering physician expense at that hospital.

    So now, because of an inexplicable business decision, a man with an incurable, terminal illness, who could get a phone call at any moment saying, “We have a lung; get to the hospital now,” has to devote precious time and energy to figuring out whether he can even afford to have his hospital do the operation.

    Things like this don’t happen in Canada.

    —-

    http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/october/private_health_insur.php

  3. Anna writes

    Things like this don’t happen in Canada.

    Right. There, they just wait so long for treatment they usually die with something like C.F.

  4. Read the citation by Miss Nova carefully: if you just glance at it, you might think that Blue Cross dropped coverage for Dr Arnold. That, however, was not what the letter said at all. Rather, for whatever reasons the insurer has, BC/BS is ceasing to do business with Fairview University Hospital. There can be many reasons, almost always having to do with financial disputes, why a particular insurer would cease dealing with a particular health care provider.

    Dr Arnold did not get this letter because he has CF; Dr Arnold got this letter because he is a practicing pathologist, one who had obviously submitted insurance claims for his own patients to BC/BS. They didn’t cancel his insurance at all, but ceased doing business with a particular provider.

    And I would note Miss Nova’s source: Physicians for a National Health Program, a single-payer advocacy group. This was not exactly an unbiased source.

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