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Marching Band as a Chronically Ill Teen?

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My daughter is 17 and a junior in the ColorGuard at her school. She absolutely adores performing, but she has some health issues that get in the way sometimes. Her chronic illnesses caused her to miss the past season of marching band and she now needs an implanted Port-A-Cath in her chest for medication. It is accessed 24/7 and must remain dry at all times, otherwise she could get an infection. I just don't see how she can continue to do band. Have any other parents had their kids be in band with any chronic illnesses, or having a port?

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I’m so sorry. :(

Can she just be in the big impact moments and resting behind a prop otherwise?  I know Leander and others have had occasional times where they only utilized the entire guard for big impact moments.  I know your girl probably wants to still be a part of the band her Senior year. Maybe the directors would have some ideas. When Leander went to GN in 2016, one of our trumpets had broken his hip the month before. He was a Senior and badly wanted (and deserved!) to still be a part of the show, so they parked his wheelchair backfield on the 50 and he stood up there and helped conduct. He put a lot of work into learning how to do that in a very short time, and he did a fantastic job and was still able to be a part of the show. 

I wish you and your daughter all the best!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm sorry it's taken me this long to reply to this.  I understand your frustration as a parent, wanting to find the best possible solution to allow her to still participate in something she loves so much.   I wonder if there might be some way for her to help with the band/color guard as some sort of student assistant, that allows her still to have the interaction and being part of the program, but allows more flexibility for her specific needs?  I would agree that keeping the port dry at all times would be difficult.  I do know there was a girl with diabeties on our color guard a few years back that had an insulin pump. They had to be careful with her, but she was able to participate and compete at the highest levels.  They just had to do a little more planning and making sure she had the right emergency foods around if needed.  I would say that the decision for your daughter needs to be talked through with the director/color guard director and you and your daugher and probably some sort of medical professional..(there may be some product that is available that would help keep the port clean- or not) ,  One think I've realized with parenting teens... i have to keep from having knee jerk reactions and be able to calmly list the step by step process of how and where my decision came from- when I have to give them bad news and not let them do something they want to do- that would under normal circumstances be ok.

good luck!  

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