One Year Waiver Process Advice

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by yankeefan1111, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi everyone, hope you are all enjoying the spring weather. This is a long and complicated thread but if you would take the time to read it and offer any advice it would be much appreciated. I posted this topic on the ROTC thread several days ago and didn't get replies so I thought I would put it here and see what happens. Thanks in advance for your help.

    USMA Denied my waiver as a few months ago. As of 2 weeks ago I got 3 letters from Phds and MDs to appeal the decision and am still in the process of waiting for a final decision from USMA. It is past the medical qualification deadline, so I don't expect to receive an appointment this cycle.

    In terms of ROTC, I am still waiting for any sort of decision from Cadet Command. I have a 4 year scholarship that I was awarded in February of 2014. At this point, the tuition office is understandably upset, and is getting uneasy about receiving this year's tuition (Over 60,000 dollars). Also if the waiver doesn't get granted, I won't be allowed to get retroactive aid for this years tuition. I am in a position where I would transfer to a cheaper school if the waiver was denied or undecided by the end of the summer. My Cadre are working the situation, and trying to move the waiver along as quickly as they can. No one has been able to tell me how long this process could continue for. I have talked DODMERB, Cadet Command, and my Cadre. Does anyone know how long it will take for Cadet Command to make a decision? Does anyone have any advice on the best way to proceed, or if there is anyway of moving this process along? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    Below is some information about the condition I am trying to get waived.

    I was born in 1996 in New York City. Before I was born, the docs did a number of tests to check for any genetic conditions that might exist, unfortunately, they found that I had the Genotype for a disease called Gaucher's type 1. This disease is pretty rare, only about 1 in 50,000 people in the general population get diagnosed. This is the most mild form of the mutation, and if I were to become symptomatic I would experience mild bone pain and a slightly enlarged spleen. The good news is that the is that I have never experienced any symptoms of the disease. Furthermore, most individuals with the diagnosis never become symptomatic. The disease is highly treatable either via enzyme therapy or oral medications. I have followed up with a doctor every year regarding the condition just to be safe, and monitor for symptoms.

    Thanks again for your time and help.
     
  2. Mateob

    Mateob Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    2
    I would SERIOUSLY recommend calling DoDMERB ad asking for the AROTC waiver authority phone number, then calling it. I waited a long time for my waiver, then decided enough was enough, called the Air Force, and got my waiver a week later.
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  3. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hey Mateob,
    I appreciate your response, and that is good advice. Also, congrats on the Air Force Scholarship. My understanding is that the Docs at Fort Knox were unsure what to do so they sent it to the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army in Washington D.C. I got the waiver authority (Cadet Command's) number from DODMERB and have called it every 6 weeks. They seem frustrated with the situation as well. When I asked for a potential timeframe, Cadet Command said that that they couldn't give an estimate because to do so would be getting in the lane with the Doctors, and would be an insult to the Medical profession.

    I also have spoken with DODMERB. They have been really professional, but said that they couldn't speak on behalf of the waiver authority regarding a potential timeframe.

    My Cadre have also followed up with the Surgeon's office and kept me updated with the situation.

    Is there anyone else I could call or get in touch with that could give any sort of insight?

    I am just frustrated with this process because if my waiver doesn't get resolved by the end of the summer, I will have to transfer to a more affordable institution, and leave my scholarship behind.

    Thanks again for the response, if anyone has any other advice or ideas they would be much appreciated.
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    113
    I do not foresee a waiver for Gauchers being easy to obtain. The above advice to call DoDMERB is completely reasonable.
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  5. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks kp,
    I'll give DODMERB a call tomorrow, and see if they have any new information. I know that Gaucher's is rare and would be something that would be difficult to get waived. I'm just bummed to have been waiting for such a long time. thanks for your advice. I will keep everyone posted.
     
  6. Mateob

    Mateob Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    2
    Just wanted to add that I have a condition which a bunch of people told me was probably not waiverable (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) and I received a waiver this week. So don't get discouraged!!
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  7. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    I really appreciate the encouragement. I'll keep my fingers crossed for good news. Congrats on the waiver being granted, and best of luck with Air Force.
     
  8. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    537
    :p
    Yankeefan, this might be the wrong advice, but what about calling the congressman/woman who nominated you? Perhaps they could help move things along. Just a thought. I'm sure one of the more seasoned forum experts could weigh in and let me know I am full of doo doo:D
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  9. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think that is good advice, my PMS actually spoke to me earlier this week about filing something called a congressional inquiry. I'm not sure exactly how this process works, but I think that it involves getting in touch with my Congressman's office and articulating the issue to them. I think at that point a case worker would write a letter to the command in charge of making the decision to get a status update. This wouldn't make the Army make a more favorable decision rather it would make them decide sooner.
     
  10. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm not sure exactly how this process works but my PMS said that he is familiar with it and would guide me through it. Has anyone had past experience with this sort of thing? Thanks again for all your help.
     
  11. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    318
    yankeefan, just my 2 cents... getting elected officals involved may ruffle some feathers. I would only use this as a very last ditch option. Here is what I would do if in your shoes.
    1) Call CC and ask about the waiver again, if they are still in a holding pattern I would ask them if its ok ( asking them for their blessing puts/keeps them on your side) for you to contact the Army Surgeon General.
    2) Contact the Army Surgeon General and ask about your case, ask for the persons name and make them your point of contact every time you call. I would call once a week and ask for that person every time. This will make them your "case worker". It's easy for you to get lost in the shuffle so by doing this you will have one point of contact and hopefully someone who can advocate for you on your behalf.
    3) Be prepared to send all of your documentation to the Army Surgeon General.

    Best of luck.
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    2,444
    Google congressional inquiries. Its a process in which a Congressman on behalf of a service member can essentially request a sort of investigation. We had many of them in my unit. Almost every single one we had was requested by Mom and Dad on behalf of a servicemember who were not telling Mom and Dad the truth about certain instances. Heck we had one because a Mom was concerned LCpl XYZ wasn't getting good enough food in the chow hall. Essentially the responding unit has a very short time frame to respond to an inquiry with all the facts. When I say short... it was around 72 hours or so. It was only a few days. Can't remember specifics. This is certainly a path to take, I am not sure it will get an answer. It definitely could. Its definitely something to discuss with your PMS. Would exhaust all paths first and then take this one.
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  13. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi everyone,

    I just checked DODMERB, and my waiver for USMA has been approved. I already got the TWE but I will definitely be reapplying for next year's cycle. As you guys could imagine, I am psyched. At this point I have a couple questions.

    -Will USMA approve the waiver for the next cycle year as well?

    -Is this indicative of the decision that will be made for ROTC?

    -Will this decision influence the decision that will be made by the Army Surgeon General for ROTC?

    I know that this process is far from over, but I just wanted to pass on the great news. I have sent emails to my MALO and Regional Commander to talk about the rest of the process. I also informed my PMS of the decision. Is there anything else I should be doing at this point?

    Thanks again for all your advice and help.
     
    MammaMia likes this.
  14. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    318
    yankeefan good for you! Answers to your questions.

    1) Unknown, certainly looks to be in your favor.
    2) More than likely YES
    3) Very much so.

    Great job about being proactive in communicating the waiver approval to the PMS, MALO and RC.
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  15. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks Sherrif, I really hope you are right. I am not out of the woods yet but things are looking much better.

    Just to update everyone, I met with my PMS today and he showed me a letter he drafted to send to the Surgeon's office at Fort Knox. The letter states that I have waited for over a year for the ROTC decision, and that USMA approved the waiver. He says that if we don't hear anything within a week, we will initiate the congressional inquiry process. He thinks that it seems more likely that the Army Surgeon General will act in my favor but nothing is for certain. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for a favorable decision by the end of the summer. Thank you all for your advice, I will keep everyone posted with any updates I get regarding this process.
     
    FalconsRock likes this.
  16. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hey Everyone, I have another development I thought I would pass on and ask for advice.

    Last week I went to see my Dr. for Gaucher Disease as a routine yearly follow-up. After an MRI and bone density test, he found that my spleen is roughly 3 times larger than normal, and that my bones are less dense than they should be. Both of these signs are markers that the Gaucher disease is somewhat active. We are still waiting for additional testing to come back to determine whether or not we will go through with treatment. Treatment comes in the form of an oral medication called cerdelga. The treatment would restore my bone density and bring my spleen back to a normal size but it also costs upwards of 250,000 dollars a year. I would also continue to take pills for the rest of my life.
    When West Point waived the condition it was our understanding that the condition was inactive and would probably stay that way for the duration of my life (I wouldn't require treatment). Now I am faced with the decision of whether I should apply to USMA a third time. I have always dreamed of attending West Point, and have put years of work into preparing the strongest application possible. However, I am not sure if I want to go through the application process a third time if a waiver seems extremely unlikely. I know that if the Gaucher wasn't a factor I would absolutely apply a third time and seek an appointment. I know that there is no way of knowing the outcome of the waiver until I go through the entire application process, but any advice you guys could offer would be much appreciated
     
  17. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    537
    yankeefan, so sorry to hear about your results as I'm sure that is not what you wanted to hear. IMHO, I think paying attention to getting your health back to normal should be your number one focus. I am not all that familiar with your condition, but enlarged spleen and decreased bone density, even if reversible now, is not one that would fair well in the military if you have a relapse later. I would not be one to tell you not to apply, but realistic expectations should be up front and foremost. I feel your disappointment and I pray that you will recover and I am certain that you will do well whatever path you take. God speed to you and best wishes. Your earnest desire to serve your country is commendable!
     
    yankeefan1111 likes this.
  18. yankeefan1111

    yankeefan1111 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks, I really appreciate the upfront and straightforward advice. Also, thanks for your service and best of luck with your daughters application to USAFA.
     

Share This Page