A nice break

Life isn’t normal when you live with a chronic disease.  Some days are bad, but some days are really good.  Faith Miller has been living with a chronic disease since she was first diagnose in the fourth grade. She has Cystic Fibrosis.  

It has been five years since Faith’s last hospitalization.  She has 57 percent of lung capacity and is in therapy twice a week.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease affecting a person’s lungs and digestive system, causing the body to produce “usually thick, sticky mucus that: clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural  enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.”

You first came to know her when she was granted a wish last year through the Make-A-Wish- Foundation and a story this newspaper did on her Broadway experience.  The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation is to enrich the lives of young people with life-threatening medical conditions through wish-granting work. Faith had an amazing experience and said she will remember it forever.

She and her family received a call late spring of this year for another amazing trip. On September 21, Faith, along with her family, embarked on a dream vacation to Orlando, Fla., with 38 other courageous children with life-threatening medical conditions for a week filled with fun and delight at the “Give Kids The World Village.” The trip was made possible thanks to the Something mAAgic Foundation’s annual marquee event, mAAgic flight, which has given the same amazing experience to more than 400 children from around the world for the past 17 years.

The send-off party took place at Dulles International Airport with festivities that included a themed celebration with volunteers and former and current employees of American Airlines, American Eagle and American Airlines Federal Credit Union.

The Something mAAgic Foundation sponsors children from several wish granting organizations each year. With mileage donated from Miles for Kids in Needsm, mAAgic flight enables children and their families to experience the village and all that Central Florida has to offer.

With only three weeks into the new school year, Faith’s mom was a little concerned about missing school. “We found out about the trip in June and we were all excited, but forgot all about it until they called us in August,” said Carol Miller, Faith’s mother. “My concern was about missing school.  We are just three weeks into the new year.” 

She was happy that the whole family was going.  Faith has a younger brother, Andrew, 14, and he understands that Faith’s medical condition takes priority in the household. 

“Sometimes siblings get lost in the shuffle,” said Miller. “It is real nice that they [organizations like mAAgic] take care of siblings too.”

Faith will be 16 in November. She is in her junior year and finds it demanding. She was happy to get a break, even after only three weeks. “I am just happy to be getting away from school,” she said.  Junior year is hard.”  Faith is in all honor classes.  Along with preparing for college, she continues her ninth year with piano lessons, loves acting and is involved with the Christine Youth Theater, enjoys singing and writing.

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