A young National Guard member who served alongside her twin sister has passed away from a rare heart condition.
17-year-old PFC Alyssa Cahoon succumbed to a “rare heart abnormality” on August 25 while surrounded by her family members including her twin sister Brianna.
The saddening news was announced by the 1st Battalion 34th Regiment who revealed that the aspiring 42A Human Resource Specialist quickly earned her place as a Squad Leader while training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
Just days before their graduation, the twins were training when Alyssa collapsed without a warning.
After the girl was rushed to an off-base hospital, she was pronounced dead.
Though the Army vowed to investigate the circumstances leading to the tragedy, Alyssa’s mom, Susan, on Sunday revealed that her daughter died of a rare heart abnormality.
“Doctors found a completely undetectable and very rare heart abnormality,” she explained.
“As tragic as this loss is, her sacrifice will save Brianna (her identical twin) who has the same heart abnormality, but will now receive an internal defibrillator.”
Paying a tribute to the teen soldier was also Brianna and Alyssa’s friend, Courtney Blom, who said the twins were so close they did everything together.
Meanwhile, the twins’ family revealed they are now dedicated to collecting soda tabs to help raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House charity in honor of the late soldier.
“Aly and Bri went out of their way at BCT to collect tabs from those that drank the ‘yucky’ tomato juice. They sent us the tabs from BCT so mom could dish out kisses later,” Susan said.
“As a family, we have decided to collect the soda tabs as ‘Kisses for Aly.’ The Ronald McDonald House has been so good to us during this difficult time, we want to help them too.
“Tab collection is a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, and now Kisses for Aly will help them.”
Our thoughts are with the Cahoon family during this tragic time.
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