Make-A-Wish helps teen with cystic fibrosis train at Ft. Jackson - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Make-A-Wish helps teen with cystic fibrosis train at Ft. Jackson

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - She's only 13, but a Texas girl is becoming Army strong at Fort Jackson as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Alyssa Braden was diagnosed two years ago with cystic fibrosis, a disease she knew would keep her out of the military. But thanks to the foundation, she got a taste of what it's like. 

On a range crowded with basic trainees, Braden stands out -- not only because of her age or the fact that she's cradling an M-16. Facing a life-threatening disease, Braden's one wish is to be a soldier. 

"It first started with my uncle, he went to the Army and that started it all," she said. "I realized that being in the Army means you're a hero and everybody looks up to you. I just wanted to be a hero." 
     
While other kids might ask for trips to theme parks. the Texas teen chose Fort Jackson. "It makes perfect sense because she really wants to be a soldier and she can't whenever she grows up so, that really hurt her a lot when she found that out but the fact that she gets to come here is just crazy," said her mother Chessa. 

Crazier still, Monday's challenge was one of the fort's most formidable. "She's the first 13-year-old girl I've seen come off the tower, and I've seen grown men cry on this thing!" said SSGT Patrick Frye.

"She doesn't want people to feel bad for her and give her special treatment like she's a baby," said Chessa. "She takes care of herself. She's a strong kid." 

A kid that fights the effects of Cystic Fibrosis on a daily basis conquered a fear of heights, and she did it with men and women she normally looks up to returning the favor. 

"To see a 13-year-old girl come out here and do what we do is just awesome," said Frye. "That's all I can say." 

"My second biggest wish was to go on a ski trip, but no matter how much money we have, I can never go into the Army, so I can never do this," Alyssa said.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Judge accused of abusing, berating defendants

    Judge accused of abusing, berating defendants

    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:20 AM EDT2018-04-21 11:20:28 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:30 AM EDT2018-04-21 11:30:55 GMT
    Judge Merrilee Ehrlich has stepped down after being accused of berating defendants. (Source: WSVN/CNN)Judge Merrilee Ehrlich has stepped down after being accused of berating defendants. (Source: WSVN/CNN)

    A judge accused of "aggressive and tyrannical" behavior has stepped down from the bench.

    More >>

    A judge accused of "aggressive and tyrannical" behavior has stepped down from the bench.

    More >>
  • 4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

    4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 05:44:10 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:24 AM EDT2018-04-21 11:24:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...(AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>
  • FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

    FAA orders more engine inspections after Southwest accident

    Friday, April 20 2018 4:53 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:53:41 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 7:09 AM EDT2018-04-21 11:09:22 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...
    The manufacturer of the jet engine involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident Tuesday wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems.More >>
    The manufacturer of the jet engine involved in a fatal Southwest Airlines accident Tuesday wants more jets to be inspected for potential problems.More >>
Powered by Frankly