Teenager becomes a 'cadet for a day'

Mark Carnes, the U.S. Air Force Academy's latest Cadet for a Day, and Capt. Daniel Norton, look out the control tower windows at the Academy airfield, Nov. 10, 2016. The Academy has teamed up with the Make a Wish Foundation to help children with serious medical conditions achieve their dreams of becoming an Academy cadet, through the Cadet for a Day Program. Norton is the flight commander for the Cadet Instructor Pilot Upgrade Program for the 94th Flying Training Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darcie Ibidapo)

Mark Carnes, the U.S. Air Force Academy's latest Cadet for a Day, and Capt. Daniel Norton, look out the control tower windows at the Academy airfield, Nov. 10, 2016. The Academy has teamed up with the Make a Wish Foundation to help children with serious medical conditions achieve their dreams of becoming an Academy cadet, through the Cadet for a Day Program. Norton is the flight commander for the Cadet Instructor Pilot Upgrade Program for the 94th Flying Training Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darcie Ibidapo)

Mark Carnes, 15, eats breakfast with cadets and staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Nov. 10, 2016. Carnes became an Academy cadet for a day through the Cadet for a Day program run by the Academy and the Make a Wish Foundation since 2000. The program allows children with severe medical conditions to achieve their dreams of becoming an Academy cadet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darcie Ibidapo)

Mark Carnes, 15, eats breakfast with cadets and staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Nov. 10, 2016. Carnes became an Academy cadet for a day through the Cadet for a Day Program run by the Academy and the Make a Wish Foundation since 2000. The program allows children with serious medical conditions to achieve their dreams of becoming an Academy cadet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darcie Ibidapo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

A teenage lymphoma patient became the Air Force Academy’s latest cadet for a day Nov. 10, thanks to a longstanding partnership between cadets and the Make a Wish Foundation.

 

Mark Carnes, 15, and his mother, Gwendolyn Carnes, toured the airfield and control tower with cadets assigned to Cadet Squadron 20 and airfield staff, and watched a chemistry magic show in a science lab, among other activities.

 

Mark is from Richmond, Virginia. He was diagnosed with Burritt’s Lymphoma in 2015, but said he’s in remission.

 

“I’m officially cancer free,” he said.

 

Mark plans to apply to the Academy after high school. He said he’d like to study aeronautical engineering and ultimately, design cars and aircraft.

 

His Cadet for a Day experience began last year with a letter from Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen Stephen Williams. The general learned about Mark’s interest in the Air Force and their shared appreciation for aircraft, cars and Popular Science Magazine, and wrote the boy while he was enduring his fifth round of chemotherapy.  

 

“The inspirational message could not have arrived at a better time,” Mark said.

 

Cadet 1st Class Min Je Kim spent time with Mark. He said the Cadet for a Day Program reminds him not to take life for granted.   

 

“Getting a chance to spent time with our new ‘cadets,’ makes us realize how special we have it here,” he said.

 

Cadets have teamed with the Make a Wish Foundation since 2000.