501(C)(3) ID# 27-4526336
Team Darkhorse established a Life Grant program to assist Marines and Veterans of the Darkhorse Battalion in dealing with adversities, meeting financial challenges or accomplishing noteworthy goals. In a number of cases, the grants have allowed Marines and their families to travel in emergency situations or overcome financial stress.
One of the recipients was retired Captain Cameron West, a Marine who lost his right leg above the knee and the sight in his right eye while serving in Afghanistan. Cameron's extraordinary record of Marine service continued after he suffered combat wounds. Two years after his own injury, he made national headlines when he traveled to Boston to visit the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and to encourage the amputees. When Cameron and his wife Madison welcomed their new baby girl, Ella, they discovered that she was born with a hearing loss. The Team Darkhorse Life Grant will assist in paying for hearing aids which are not covered by medical insurance.
Life Grants also have been given to the Wounded Warriors who have served as Grand Marshall of the Laguna Hills Memorial Day events. Corporal Marcus Chischilly used a Life Grant to defray uncovered costs in his travel to Quantico, Virginia to compete in the Department of Defense sponsored International Warrior Games. He is a member of the Marine Corps Wheelchair Basketball Team which brought home the Gold Medal. While running on a "blade", he also won Bronze Medals in the 100 and 200 meter relays.
Assistance under the Life Grant program has enabled Marines and Veterans to "live to fight another day" as they support their families. Referrals from the Battalion Family Readiness Officer, or one of the Veterans with whom we have come to know and trust, start the process which may or may not lead to an offer of assistance. Following the referral, we speak to the Marines to gain an understanding of the immediacy and inevitability of their needs and how best to help. The assistance that is provided to these patriots always is well deserved and appreciated.
"We trained hard and competed with such enthusiasm as if nothing was ever going to stop us. To all the Marines, Marine Staff, "Docs", Coaches and especially my family, Antania Jensen-Chischilly, I say thank you! Thanks for taking care of us, thanks for helping us achieve this experience.
This is the final Warrior Games for me, but I walked away with much more than medals, I walked away with engraved memories. I walked away with emotions. Now it is time for me to finish winning as a father and husband.
Corporal Marcus Chischilly
"We received the wonderful letter and grant check today, and we have already deposited it into Ella's hearing aid account. This will definitely relieve some financial pressure when it comes time to purchase new ear molds and aids. We are so thankful for the donation and for your continued support for 3/5 and the Marines and Veterans after they have moved away. The DarkHorse Family went through many trials over the years and the have always had Laguna Hills in their corner supporting them at home and abroad.
We hope to make it back to a Memorial Day Run one day and I appreciate the Board's hard work and effort to continue this event. Especially since it is in memory of the fallen Marines and the community and the families of lives that have been touched.
With great respect,
-Captain Cameron West
USMC (Ret) "