Dusty Brandom has endured more suffering in his 18 years than most of us can imagine.
Trapped in a wheelchair, his body a constant source of pain and disappointment, Dusty has every reason to be angry at the lousy card he's been dealt. He has a degenerative genetic disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which has robbed him of mobility and caused a raft of other terrible symptoms.
Yet the Newport Beach teen is full of hope and promise, and it is those very qualities that led him to the White House earlier this month, where he met President Obama.
He had made the request to meet the president through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and he'd been waiting for more than two years for the arrangements to be finalized. Then in May, he got the news that the meeting was on, and within a few weeks he left for the nation's capital with his parents, Cath and Neil, and younger siblings Lucas and Gabriella.