Mission Moment: Isaiah Remains Bonded to Father

Published On: October 24, 2022Categories: Angel BlogBy

As a young child, Isaiah bonded with his father, Air Force Master Sergeant Brian Badstibner, over their common love of baseball. Brian coached Isaiah and his baseball team, serving as a mentor on-and-off the playing field.

Unfortunately, Brian was diagnosed with a rare 1-in-1 million type of cancer and passed away six months later in 2016. Isaiah was only nine years old at the time, and his father’s passing broke his heart.

Christie, Brian’s widow, knew she had to keep her son focused and on the right path. In stepped Angels of America’s Fallen to provide that guidance then and now through his teen years.

“I knew as a mother how important it was to keep Isaiah focused and baseball has made a big impact on him,” Christie said. “Angels of America’s Fallen took on the burden of paying for baseball for him.”

But the investment into Isaiah made by Angels of America’s Fallen was not a one-time thing.

“(Angels) continued to support Isaiah over the years by paying for his league tournaments and now private coaching in his freshman year of high school,” Christie said. “He has improved tremendously with private coaching. Now Isaiah is thinking he might want to try and get a college baseball scholarship.”

Christie is encouraged by all the support given to her and her family after the passing of her husband.

“Thank you for all the support and loving my kids while keeping them focused on something they love and a sport that was very special to Isaiah and his dad,” Christie said. “We love Shelli, Joe and everyone in this organization with all that they do for me and my boys.”

Today, there are more than 16,000 children in the United States who have lost a parent who volunteered to serve their country in the military or as a first responder. Most of the children are very young at the time of loss (average age – 7 years).

Statistics show that these children have a greater likelihood for depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, behavior problems, substance abuse, and even suicide. Angels of America’s Fallen mitigates these risks by providing regular opportunities for participation in extracurricular interest such as sports, fitness, art, music, theater and other activities. Research demonstrates that feeling connected and engaged with at least two areas outside of family such as school/afterschool activities, positive peers, athletics, employment, religion, culture and the arts is a protective factor that can mitigate the risks associated with parental loss. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health, April 2016)

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