Cancer

AFACAT

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My youngest son is interested in going to an SA. At the beginning of last year he was diagnosed with a localized cancerous tumor. He went through surgery and 5 months of chemotherapy and radiation and has been cancer free for a year. He is currently in excellent health and participating in football, baseball and basketball without problems. He is only starting his freshman year in high school but we want to start planning now for the fight with DODMERB should he still be interested in an SA when the time comes.

Does anyone have any experience or input dealing with cancer and DODMERB?
 
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C09Blacksheep

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Hmmm...tough call you should in the end be able to still apply and get in especially if he is cancer free. But one thing you should def. do is ask around get down to the bottom of it now because dodmerb is notorious for taking their time.
 

kp2001

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This is a question that I actually haven't heard before. I know there is a list somewhere online of disqualifying conditions; however, I have no idea if cancer is on the list. I would imagine it will depend on the type of cancer, recurrence rates, and what your son's individual prognosis is. Unfortunately there is no 'good' way to fight w/ DODMERB, I've had to go through them twice and have had fights both times. The second time around I had less of a fight and I'm not sure if it's because the condition wasn't as worrisome or if I provided them with the right documentation the first time. My personal experience would tell you to go to the physician who treated him and get copies of all of his records. Then when it is just before time to submit the package have a follow-up appointment with that doctor and try to get him to write in his note something that says there are no problems left and that your son has no restrictions on any activities.

Hopefully this will help, but it's an uphill battle, all I know is I hope I never get put on the DODMERB board as an assignment I would :bang: all day long
 

AFACAT

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Thanks C09 and KP2001!

By the time he would enter he would be 5 years cancer free (God willing) and his Oncologist will declare him cured. (His Oncologist is one of the top in the country and has written on the long term effects of adolecent cancer so she would be a good resource to have on his side.) So....one would hope DODMERB would feel the same. I plan to contact my older son's ALO and BGO as well to see if they can come up with any information.

Other comments?
 
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AFACAT

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KP2001, you jarred my memory on the DQ list on DODMERB. The link is:

https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/detachment/detachment.asp

Sure enough D190.50 History of Malignant Tumor is a DQ code. I guess that means that he would have to pursue a waiver from ab SA. So I should probably speak with the specific SAs about a waiver possibility(??)

Comments?
 

usna1985

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A lot of folks erroneously believe that BGOs can help them in resolving medical issues. Due to privacy laws, BGOs aren't allowed to be involved in medical issues -- other than letting folks know which conditions generally aren't waived and putting you in contact with the medical personnel. Thus, BGOs only know that a student is medically qualified, incomplete or rejected and nothing more about a studen't medical condition.

Of course, a student may unilaterally decides to discuss medical issues with the BGO but we're not permitted to ask about a person's medical conditions nor are we told about them. USNA makes the very clear in our training.
 

TacticalNuke

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AFACAT said:
Thanks C09 and KP2001!

By the time he would enter he would be 5 years cancer free (God willing) and his Oncologist will declare him cured. (His Oncologist is one of the top in the country and has written on the long term effects of adolecent cancer so she would be a good resource to have on his side.) So....one would hope DODMERB would feel the same. I plan to contact my older son's ALO and BGO as well to see if they can come up with any information.

Other comments?
Not to sound pessimistic, but be ready for a fight.

It looks like you're getting everything in place now and that's good. Get as much information as possible. However, just be ready to get more and to press hard.

So sorry to hear about your son, glad he made it through well, God was watching over him.
 
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Zaphod

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kp2001 said:
This is a question that I actually haven't heard before.

Jeez! Me neither!

Wow. :eek:

Glad he's better now. Hell of a thing to go through as a kid!
 

AFACAT

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TN
If he wants to go to an SA we'll be ready for the fight. His Oncologist is convinced the kids that had cancer, and beat it, can go on to do anything and has the research to back it up. DODMERB would have their hands full if they picked a fight with her.

usna1985
I appreciate the postion of the BGOs & ALOs. However, what I would be most interested in would be a contact in the medical community at USXA that could tell me 'absolutely not' or 'maybe'. I am sure that they would not do a review of his specific case, and I don't blame them, until he had applied and was deemed a viable candidate. My goal here would be to steer him away from pursuing an SA and save everyone's time if the fight is lost before we start.

:topic:
Z
Yeah, it was something that no kid or parent should ever have to go through. If he were told he had to go to an SA basic this summer, he would probably say, "Only six weeks!? I've been through 5 months of hell. Bring it on." That is why I think he would do well at an SA. Also, during the entire time he maintained As at school and played basketball and baseball - and amazing kid (along with God's help I'm sure).

The AFA ALO met with my oldest during the worst of the cancer treatment. She asked how he was handling being the big brother, she told us later that his answer was all she need to know about his character.
 
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death_by_happiness

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I would find evidence of people at the Academy who have overcome cancer to have documented evidence that they are thriving and just to have a precedent.
 

RetNavyHM

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AFACAT,

The Department of Defense Instruction 6130.4 18JAN05 (DoDI 6130.4) states "E1.26.2 Current or history of malignant tumors is disqualifying. Skin cancer (other than malignant melanoma) removed with no residual, is not disqualifying."

Straight answer, your son will be found medically disqualified by DoDMERB. I have seen waviers granted for applicants who have been treated and have been in remission for at least 5 years.

My advice, when your son gets his physical exam, get copies of all medical records pertaining to his cancer, treatment and follow ups, if you feel a new follow up by his oncologist will help (my experience says it will, but its not something you HAVE to do), get a copy of that. DO NOT send those copies in with his physical examination, but wait for the letter from DoDMERB requesting that information and send it in. When/if (you never know when or how the medical standards may change) he is found disqualified, all the medical information that DoDMERB has will be forwarded to the waiver authorities.

Granted we are looking almost 4 years into the future and who knows how things will change, but my experience is that if its been at least 5 years, he shouldn't have any problems with getting a waiver.
 

AFACAT

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RetNavyHM,

Thank you for the very helpful input. It is especially helpful to know that waivers have been granted. I know this is not a sure thing but does verify that a wavier is a possibility. We will continue to collect documentation on his progress.
 

ragmanlaw

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Are you sure BGOs can't ask about medical? I remember specifically that both my BGO and my interviewer from the USMA asked about my physical condition, including sports injuries. It wouldn't make a lot of sense if they can't ask "Do you have any injuries?" I mean you would want to know the hole in your heart, your brain hemorrage, or your missing thumb was gonna keep you out, so stop spending time trying.

The truth is though, I have found, If you want in USXA you will get in if you REALLY want it. With DoDMERB problems it complicates things, but I have heard of individuals getting in with serious heart defects and such.
 

Zaphod

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AFACAT said:
Z
Yeah, it was something that no kid or parent should ever have to go through. If he were told he had to go to an SA basic this summer, he would probably say, "Only six weeks!? I've been through 5 months of hell. Bring it on." That is why I think he would do well at an SA. Also, during the entire time he maintained As at school and played basketball and baseball - and amazing kid (along with God's help I'm sure).

Damn! Good for him!

The AFA ALO met with my oldest during the worst of the cancer treatment. She asked how he was handling being the big brother, she told us later that his answer was all she need to know about his character.

:thumb:
 
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