I’m feeling better and getting stronger every day. I have good vision and hearing, so there’s no reason I can’t become a pilot.
Tyler is an 18 year-old whose story brings tears to your eyes and lifts up your heart at the same time. Against long odds and with a huge dollop of courage, Tyler will graduate high school next year and go on to college. He wants to become a pilot. Tyler's father JarobiJarobi will join him on the cruise.
On the second day of his life, Tyler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. This is a life-threatening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. In the 1960's, few children with this diagnosis lived to attend grammar school. Things have changed for the better since then.
This past February, Tyler underwent transplant surgery to replace his liver and both lungs. To hear him speak, it's as if nothing was ever wrong. Tyler has handled his ordeal with stunning poise and dignity, and he has been a beacon of hope to others suffering with this same condition. Tyler's medical odyssey has been chronicled in print and broadcast media far and wide, including the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, and many others. In fact this July, Mayor Annise of Houston has scheduled an award presentation to honor Tyler for his remarkable courage, personal dignity, and commitment to helping others who are similarly situated.
And what else does Tyler do? Tyler volunteers with Life Gift Donation, the organization that arranged his transplant, where he does office work one day and speaks about his personal journey the next. He is also a volunteer at Millionaire Airlines, the organization that picks up and delivers the organs. They make a special point to teach Tyler everything they can about aviation. Tyler almost feels like he's a qualified air traffic controller. He is on the radar systems, studies flight communications, makes flight calculations. Says Tyler: "It's like they've adopted me. They know I want to study aeronautics and become a pilot, so they're helping me get there. I have 20-20 vision and good hearing, so now there's no reason I can't reach my dream."