Jo's New Helmet & MCLEF

Six months ago our son was diagnosed with Brachycephaly with Plagiocephaly. His head was misshapen from sleeping on his back, and delay in development. We were told, as his brain grew, the Brachycephaly only allowed it to grow in the path if least resistance- upward, which resulted in not only a misshapen skull, but brain. This made our son more likely for seizure, headaches, and cognitive delay as he grew. Our pediatrician referred us to an OT and cranial specialist, who prescribed him with a DocBand and months of occupational therapy. We of course, wanted to "fill his prescription" right away, but soon found out that Tricare sees Brachycephaly as a cosmetic issue- in turn, they do not cover it. Our doctors told us Brachycephaly and other cranial deformities like it is not cosmetic, it put our son at risk for dangers in neural development, The cost of a DocBand and the weekly fittings can range anywhere from $2000-$4000, per helmet. (If not taken care of early on, many children will have to be fitted for two helmets. However, there are also a lot of doctors out there that say, the neural dangers stated above are rare and that Doc Bands are usually for cosmetic issues- regardless we wanted to fix Jo's flat head). As frustrated as we were, we paid the out of pocket costs. A month after getting the helmet, a man approached me at the commissary and asked me if I paid for the helmet out of pocket. I confirmed I did and he proceeded to share his family's story of having to pay for two helmets. He then told me he would like to help us, and asked for my husbands contact information. Hesitant, I gave him my husband's email, and the man explained that he belonged to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. He told me the MCLEF is a charitable non-profit foundation that has paid for 100 DocBands for active duty dependents and they, (as he put), "will not stop." After researching the group I realized my husband's was safe in the hands of former Marine commandants and officers. In a week we got an email from the man, (Colonel Robert Coates), telling us that with our medical receipts, they will send us a check in the full amount of the DocBand and any future uninsured care he might need. Two weeks later a check for $2500 and a letter from the president of MCLEF wishing our son and family well came in the mail. The only thing the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation asked of us is that we share our story with the military community and especially our fellow Marine families so that none of our children's medical needs to unaddressed. I was informed that members of MCLEF have addressed congress to reconsider the "uninsurable" pediatric diagnoses, including Brachycephaly, but until then if any Marine family needs help getting the necessary medical care for your child, contact MCLEF. Our son finished his cranial treatment a little over a month ago and is doing great. He still has some developmental catching up to do, but we're almost there. We could not be more thankful to God and MCLEF. So now as promised, I am sharing our story and letting you know about the graciousness of the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.