President to meet with South Shore teen |

President to meet with South Shore teen

Amanda Fehd
Dylan Rohrer, 15, talks about his wish to meet President Bush, which will come true next week when he travels to Washington, D.C., with his family. / Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

A Boy Scout and a member of the junior ROTC program, South Tahoe High School sophomore Dylan Rohrer nourishes an intense interest in history and Russia.

His parents, Gwen and Michael Rohrer, describe their 15-year-old son as a true patriot. For that, the couple pledged to give their son a chance to meet his one ideological hero face-to-face.

Wishes do come true.

Dylan has Marfan syndrome, which affects the body’s connective tissue, debilitating the bones, heart and vision. There is no cure for the life-threatening condition. Dylan has endured a number of heart and spine surgeries.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation of Sacramento and Northeastern California has arranged for Dylan and his family to meet President Bush and to visit the museums and monuments of Washington, D.C., for a week. The family leaves for the nation’s capital on Wednesday and will meet with the president on Friday.

Last year, the California chapter of Make-a-Wish granted 206 wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

“Wishes offer respite from the trials of treatment and result in the memories of a lifetime,” their mission statement reads.

The Rohrers learned recently that Dylan’s wish would be granted, after an 18-month wait.

“It means a lot,” his father said. “This is one of the most positive things to happen since he was diagnosed at 17 months old. You always hear ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ and Dylan’s definitely an example of that.”

Toting multi-colored balloons, two Make-a-Wish volunteers stopped by the Rohrer’s home Monday night for a small party of pizza and doughnuts and to give him a gift bag for his trip to Washington, D.C.

As he opened the gift bag of books, cameras and stickers, he wore two rubber bracelets reminiscent of Lance Armstrong’s yellow “Live strong” bands. The red one, he said, is for Marfan syndrome, the green camouflage band is for the armed services.

Dylan as a child always wanted to be a Marine, his parents said. Now, he’s thinking about going into politics.

Though he’s not old enough to vote, his family and friends describe Dylan as a passionate Republican who has always admired President Bush.

“He does what he says he’s going to do,” Dylan said of the president. While he’s excited for his trip, he’s still not sure what he’ll say during his meeting with the commander in chief.

Dylan’s the kind of teen who opens up to someone who’s sincere. He’ll also speak up if you’ve got something political to say. It’s that spunk that’s kept him out of trouble and free from bullies at school, his father said.

“It’s just his social skills. He’s not afraid. He’s willing to confront anything,” Michael Rohrer said of his son.

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