Sometimes it all it takes is one amazing twist of fate for things to work out well. In the case of Alente Johnson, that came in the form of Kristen Milanovich, a CFL board member.
Alente was a senior on the baseball team at Rochester Area High School when he was invited to attend the Under Armour Recruiting Classic in Mesa, Arizona. It was an amazing journey for a young man who had been close to death only two years before.
His mother Christina said, “At one point, the doctors told us there was nothing more they could do for him. His entire colon had to be removed and he was bleeding out.”
They had thought it was ulcerative colitis, but it ended up being much more. During his sophomore year he had his entire colon removed. His surgeon and specialist considered doing a difficult procedure using the small bowel and other synthetic material to recreate a colon, but they didn’t think it would work. Alente told them it would, and after ten surgeries, he was proved right.
But as much as he has faced, as many challenges as he had overcome, Alente still had something he wanted very badly. The Under Armour Recruiting Classic was the chance of a lifetime, but he needed to raise the money necessary to attend, and he didn’t want to leave his family behind.
That led to plans for spaghetti dinners as fundraisers, and two family friends to a little place called The Shirley Shoppe. While they were explaining the purpose of the fundraiser to the store owner, a customer in the shop happened to overhear them. That customer was Kristen Milanovich.
Within 45 minutes, Kristen had contacted her fellow board members, and was able to proceed with granting Alente a CFL Experience. When travel coordinator Scott Challis called Christina, she told him what it would take to get Alente to Arizona. Scott said that there was no way Alente would go by himself. This was an experience for the whole family, and CFL would send everyone.
Christina said, “I didn’t know how to respond. To go from hearing the doctors say there was nothing more they could do for Alente two years ago to this. There is nothing to say but that we’re blessed.”
Alente did attend the Under Armour Recruiting Classic with his family at his side. And when he got back to Pennsylvania, he did a good deed of his own. For his senior project, he organized a 5K walk/run and gave the proceeds back to the Courage For Life Foundation.
Fate is an amazing thing.