“Three years later, he still talks about it”
Kyle was a freshman in high school when he was given a chance to be “Pilot for a Day” at an Air Force Base in Arizona. Kids Wish Network granted the wish for 14 year-old Kyle in 2012.
“Three years later, he still talks about it,” said his mom Tina. “Kyle has always wanted to be in the Air Force, unfortunately, that won’t happen due to his challenges,” she fears.
Kyle has a rare condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which keeps his body from regulating the amount of androgen (a necessary hormone) it produces. Additionally, Kyle is diagnosed with autism, anxiety, insulin resistance, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep disturbances. He also needed corrective surgery on his legs and feet to lengthen his Achilles tendons, leaving him with limited mobility.
“I never let him feel different than other children. I wanted him to feel like the sky was the limit,” said Tina.
On the day of his wish at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Kyle felt like the sky WAS the limit when he donned a flight suit and stepped into the cockpit of an A-10 training simulator. Kyle took the $1 million piece of machinery on a “support mission” over Tucson, during which he engaged in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat on a screen in front of him.
“It’s nothing like a video game,” said Kyle. “It’s much more accurate. There’s much more detail.”
Kyle also enjoyed a personal tour of the “Boneyard”, an Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center where more than 4000 aircraft from all branches of the U.S. Military are kept.
“I’ve always enjoyed reading books and articles online about the military and wars,” said Kyle. That knowledge paid off as a tour guide walked him through the Boneyard. Kyle rattled off the names of planes and details about the history of the aircraft that even the tour guide didn’t know, according to Kyle’s grandmother, Mary.
When Kid’s Wish Network reached out to Kyle’s mom recently to find out what’s going on in his life these days, Tina told us that there have been no changes in his medical condition and Kyle will be graduating from high school in June 2015.
We congratulate Kyle on reaching this milestone! Kyle is a bright, honor roll student and there is a place in life that is just right for him. The sky IS the limit, after all, and we know that Kyle will find his Cloud 9.