FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (11/14/2012 - AFNS) -- A
nine-year-old Spokane Valley, Wash., boy, who has been fighting
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and has undergone almost two years of
chemo therapy, had the opportunity to visit Fairchild Air Force Base
Nov. 2, thanks to a program started by base's company grade officers
Trevion Worthy poses in an Army National Guard HMMWV as he begins his journey as ‘Airman for a Day' at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Nov. 2, 2012. Tre was the second youth to participate in the program at Fairchild that gives children a break from challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. Tre has been fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and undergone almost two years of chemo therapy. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
The "Airman for a Day," Trevion Worthy, was the second youth to
participate in the program at Fairchild. Children like Tre get a
break from challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. For Tre,
these challenges come in the form of an aggressive cancer of the
white blood cells. He is in the last phase of his treatment with one
and a half years to go.
The math-loving 4th grader said he
can't get enough of school and following treatment said he's begged
his mother, Maegan Chandler, to go back. He enjoys football, soccer,
baseball, basketball, swimming, tubing, camping, fishing and wants
to try snowboarding this winter.
"He's been through so much
and to see his high level of enthusiasm through all this is
inspirational," Maegan said. "This was just awesome, because he
actually got to try out things hands on; I'm really impressed and
glad this program exists."
Tre and his mom visited several
areas around base including aerospace physiology, the fire
department, the survival school, the flight simulator, a KC-135
Stratotanker and the air traffic control tower. He talked with a
diverse group of
Airmen and even met a few with a personal connection to his story.
"My sister-in-law is fighting cancer," said Lt. Col. Matt
Albright, 92nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace
physiological training flight commander. "She's stayed
involved in life much like Tre has, but it's amazing for how
young he is, his involvement (in life) hasn't faded."
But the colonel wasn't the only one who shared their
personal connection. A survival, evasion, resistance and
escape specialist took special care in ensuring Tre had a
great time and shared his own story as well.
event hits home for me," said Airman 1st Class Casey
Blackmon, 336th Training Group SERE specialist and who's
sister was diagnosed with cancer when he was four-years-old.
Blackmon said even though he was young, the impact of
his sister's ailment has influenced his decisions since. He
said it was great to see how strong and funny Tre was
despite his condition saying, "He's a good little kid too."
While touring the survival school, Col. William Thomas,
336th TRG commander, shared his experience as a cancer
survivor as well as recognizing Tre for how resilient he's
been so far.
As "Airman for a Day," Tre was issued a
custom-sized Airman battle uniform, a second lieutenant's
flight suit, an explosive ordnance disposal ball cap and
various patches and challenge coins from people at each
location he visited.
"The virtual reality parachuting
training was my favorite," said Tre, a video game
connoisseur. "I felt like I was actually falling from the
sky and trying to land on the ships."
parachuting training, the survival school equipped Tre with
his own harness and strapped him into the simulated
parachute, with directional cords, giving him complete
control of his direction as he tried landing on a Navy
The visit to Fairchild inspired him
to the point he's considering joining the Air Force one day.
"When I grow up, I want to become a pilot," Tre said
with a smile.
"Words cannot express my overwhelming
gratitude," Maegan added. "This all is just amazing to me. I
But Maegan and Tre weren't the only ones
who enjoyed the day.
"Being able to connect with kids
like Tre through this program is very rewarding," Albright
said. "Having a positive attitude influences everyone around
us, especially those dealing with something like cancer. So
I'm happy to have been a part of this. Tre is a very special
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By USAF Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
92nd Air Refueling
Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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