History of Cancer - Waiver and Appointment


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 24, 2008
My wife first discovered these forums after we got the dreaded DQ letter from DoDMERB. Our son had leukemia at age four and had achieved (and maintained) remission shortly after his chemotherapy was started.

I had searched the forums for waivers due to cancer history and found very little direct information - which is why I am posting his story. Here in the DoDMERB section I read about Larry Mullen and got his email address. After emailing him late at night I received an email response from him, and a personal phone call from Director Cpt. Merchant early the next morning. I can assure you that the DoDMERB folks are very knowledgeable and helpful - and certainly advocate for our SA and ROTC candidates.

They assured me that my son's medical history and length of time in remission put him in a favorable position for waiver consideration. It seemed like the waiver decision took a long time, but since we sent over 500 pages of medical records it makes sense (I got the impression that these records were reviewed in some detail).

My son received an LOA at the same time the waiver request was initiated - at the end of October. We received word on the waiver being granted the second week of January, and got confimation of a nomination (actually two) later the same week. His appointment to the USMA arrived last Saturday and he has already accepted his appointment.

I don't know how many cancer survivors get into the service academies these days, but I have seen current statistics that state that 80% of all childhood cancer patients now survive long term. It's encouraging to see that the medical officials take an open-minded approach to these extraordinary individuals.
Go Army: what a day maker your post was! I am going to share it w/ my Relay for Life buddies...good luck to your son at USMA!!

Go Army!!
Absolutely wonderful! Congratulations to you and your son! I look forward to seeing future posts on the parents forum as it gets closer to our kids starting their journey at the various SA's. This post really made my day also!

Glad to hear everthing worked out for your son! I also had a tough time getting medically qualified as a result of a recent bone tumor but I am now fully qualified for a SA.
Congrats to all of you and thx for the positive comments to show our first priority is to find ways we can determine that someone meets medical standards. When that can't be accomplished...standards are standards...we try and facilitate waiver action...again, when regretably that can't be attained with a positive outcome, it's NOT because the intent is to block someone from achieveing their dreams. ALL the folks involved in the medical accessions business balance the health, welfare, and success of the applicant AND the people they would be charged in leading in combat. We also all feel a moral obligation to let someone know the DoDMERB determinations or waiver decisions as quickly as possible. So, again congrats to all of the great outcomes and best of luck to those still seeking favorable determinations/decisions.:thumb:
DoDMERB incredoble responsiveness

We have a son in USMA and required a waiver for a routine appendix operation he received a few months before the physical. We were blown away with how attentive and swift the DoDMERB response was to what I am sure is a very garden variety waiver request.

How that extends to a trend in considering more difficult case is not a surprise.