A daughter’s gift
link U.S. Air Force photo: Senior Airman Eboni Reece
U.S Air Force Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Briones, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron response force member, has graduated from the Air Mobility Command's Phoenix Raven program and the Basic Airborne Course at Ft. Benning, Ga.
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
A mother’s love is unwavering. It knows no beginning or end. The gift of motherhood has been around since the dawn of time, giving women the opportunity to selflessly nurture and cherish their children. As children grow into functioning adults with careers and lives that are no longer singularly reliant on a mother’s love, those once deemed dependent have the chance to give back. And when that chance presented itself, Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Briones, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron response force leader, jumped at the opportunity without hesitation.
Briones’ mother, Anna first became sick in 2010 and at the time, Briones was stationed overseas.
“I got the call from my sisters saying ‘Mom’s really sick’,” said Briones. “At first, my mom kept me in the dark. She didn’t want me, being overseas and in the military, to worry about her. When she needed help the most, she was still protecting me.”
As her mother’s diagnosis became more life-altering, double kidney failure with the eminent need for a transplant, Briones recognized that she had the opportunity to give her mother the most meaningful gift. The gift of life.
“It was a no-brainer for me,” Briones said with a smile. “I stepped up and immediately began the process of seeing if I was a match. Although my mom never asked a single person to do this, I knew what I had to do.”
After her hopes of being a match were confirmed, Briones began a journey that spanned multiple continents, and included endless blood samples and meetings that would lay out possible complications.
“When I started all this, I was stationed overseas,” said Briones. “I completed all that I could there, but I had to routinely take leave to return for further testing and appointments back in the States.”
Having exhausted her leave and finances, Briones had to wait until she had a Permanent Change of Station back to the states to finish what she started. Now back at Cannon Air Force Base, Briones is more easily able to make the trips to Los Angeles, California, where the procedure will take place.
The procedure itself will take place in early June. A laparoscopic surgery, where three to four small incisions are made to remove the kidney, is the least invasive option which will require a total of eight weeks recovery time. Briones is well aware of the complications that accompany this gift to her mother.
“I’ve sat down with counselors, the doctors and financial advisors,” Briones said. “But I’ll be fine. I can do anything.”
Despite the risks, Briones was more than happy to do this for her mother.
“She’s like my sister and my best friend,” Briones said of the loving relationship she shares with her mother. “She is the only one I can talk to about everything and she has always been there for me.”
The adoration and gratitude that Briones exhibits towards her mother is inspiring. This procedure will no doubt alter Briones life, with the potential of sickness and future limitations, but her love and appreciation for her mother outweigh everything else. Briones is giving her mother the ultimate gift: more time with her devoted daughter.
“She’s my mom,” a heartfelt Briones said. “That’s the only reason I need.”