News: When you wish upon a star - Cavalry troopers help make a dream come true
By Heather Graham
Fort Hood Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas – The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment helped make a dream come true for one of Fort Hood's family members Aug. 2 at the detachment barn and stables.
Malory Trevino, 3, the daughter of Pfc. Tracy Trevino, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and Julie Trevino, is in remission from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and her wish was to visit Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
The wish was granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but the 1st Cav. Div. Horse Det. troopers and horses made the wish presentation all the more memorable for the Trevino Family.
Decked out like a Disney princess in a pink taffeta and satin dress, Malory and her Family went out to the barn and stables for her going away party, an event the foundation always holds to present a granted wish, Make-A-Wish volunteer Patti Wyman said.
"Every wish has a going away party," Wyman said. "This is hers."
The Trevinos watched the Horse Detachment's 30-minute long riding and weapons demonstration from the stands as Malory held her ears against the trooper's whoops and firing weapons.
A short walk from the demonstration area to a training arena brought Malory, her family and roughly one dozen spectators from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and various media outlets, to two saddled horses.
Malory was fitted with a pink Disney princess riding helmet and lifted onto the saddled back of Derail, one of the detachment's horses. Seated with her father atop Derail, Malory was led around the dirt arena by three troopers to ensure safety.
After rounding the arena several times, Tracy dismounted and Malory was in the saddle alone, riding Derail with the Soldiers surrounding her. She blew kisses to Family members and laughed.
Malory had ridden a pony before but never a horse.
"She has always liked horses," Julie said, adding that Malory had seen horses on TV.
The troopers signed Malory's helmet as another keepsake from her trip to the stables. Following the ride, Malory and her family were given a barn tour to see the other horses and learn about the horse-mounted cavalry's history and traditions.
Troopers extended an open-ended invitation to Malory and her family to stop by the barn and stables any time.
"We can't say you can ride again, but you can always come see and feed the horses," horse detachment commander Capt. Ted Zagraniski told the child.
Since finding out her wish to visit Disney World was being granted, Malory has asked about the trip daily.
"She has been counting down for three months," Julie said. "Every day, she asks, 'Is it today? Are we going to Disney World today?'"
Malory loves fairy tales and wears a Disney princess dress nearly every day, Julie added.
The most common type of leukemia in children, ALL is a fast-growing blood cancer that affects the white blood cells, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website. Children with ALL are likely to be cured if treatment is started right away, the society's website stated.
Malory was diagnosed June 13, 2006, in Houston and with aggressive treatment went into remission one month later.
The preschooler endures bone marrow treatments every week and spinal taps once each month, Julie said. The child also takes oral doses of medication daily. She has a port in her chest for her weekly treatments.
Julie said Malory has remained upbeat throughout her diagnosis and treatment.
"When she's on the steroids, she gets moody and her knees hurt," Julie said of Malory.
She has two more years of treatment at Scott and White Hospital in Temple before she can be declared cancer-free, Julie said.
"It's still hard to believe. There are still days when I think about it," Julie said. "It gets hard."
The Family moved to Fort Hood in November, and Malory's treatments were transferred from Texas Children's Hospital in Houston to Scott and White.
Tracy was informed of his daughter's cancer while attending basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C.
He does not like to dwell on his daughter's condition and instead voiced appreciation of the horse detachment troopers' role in making Malory's wish extra-special.
"I'm very glad they did this," Tracy said. "It relieves a lot of stress."
Stress and treatments were far from her mind that day as Malory kept her attention on the 1st Cav. Div. troopers and their horses. The visit to the horse detachment ended on a high note for Malory, as she was given the last item she would need for her trip.
She and her Family were brought into a conference room in the detachment barn and the Make-A-Wish Foundation representatives presented Malory with a Disney princess backpack filled with trip necessities, including her travel itinerary. The Family was scheduled to leave for Florida Aug. 6, Julie said.
Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions at no expense to the child's Family.