Local teenager with cystic fibrosis using trampoline park to improve health

Tysen Herken is just like any other high school athlete.

“I’ve always liked activities and sports growing up,” Tysen said.

There’s not much that he doesn’t play at Bangor High School.

“Plays basketball, baseball, football,” Tysen’s father. R.J., said. “When he’s on the court or the field, he gives 110 percent.”

But being active has not always come easy.

“I noticed that when I would run and stuff, it’d be a lot harder to breathe,” Tysen said. “And sweating, I could tell that I salt when I sweat. That was kinda the most weird thing about it.”

Tysen was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at a very young age.

“We found out when he was 14 days old,” R.J. said. “So we were able to start doing his treatments and get him started right away.”

But some treatments forced him away from home.

“When he was younger, we spent a lot of time in the hospital, overnights and stuff,” R.J. said.

Tysen wears a vibrating vest for 30 to 45 minutes twice a day to help clear out his airways.

“At first, you’d think of it like a massage chair or something like that.,” Tysen said. “But yeah, over time it just got annoying. Couldn’t move around or anything. But now I got one that’s portable.”

It’s never easy for his parents.

“For my wife and I, it can be very stressful and it can be challenging for us and for our other children,” R.J. said.

When Tysen turned 15 in September, his parents got him a three-month pass to Jump Start Adventure Park in La Crosse.

“I’ll come here with friends sometimes and we’ll games of flip,” Tysen said. “But, if I don’t come here with friends, then I’ll try and make friends.”

But his jumping and flipping on a bunch of trampolines is doing much more for him.

At his doctor’s appointment last month, Tysen was told his lung function improved in life-changing ways.

“When I went to my doctor’s appointments and stuff, and my lung functions went up, I was like, ‘that’s great,'” Tysen said.

“Immediately afterwards, we’re contacting the grandparents, our family members just to give them the good news, because we’ve had such bad news for the last couple years,” R.J. said.

That’s not Tysen’s only surprise. He even got a year-free pass to jump whenever he wants at the park.

“We wanted to take this opportunity to let people know about what’s happened with Tysen, and hopefully it can help out more kids,” Jump Start Adventure Park general manager Cindy Todd said.

“I’ve had people call it my habitat,” Tysen said. “I just love it here. I think it’s perfect.”

Now Tysen can keep improving his health, and continue doing the things he loves.

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