Andrew was just 5 years old when, during a routine physical to play tee-ball, his doctor noticed that his spleen was enlarged and ran some blood tests. The tests showed he had acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a diagnosis that would change his and his family’s life forever.
Thankfully, they found Special Love and the next year Andrew attended his first Camp Fantastic, where he enjoyed the next 8 summers due to lengthy treatments and reoccurrences.
At age 6, he was introduced to Special Love and invited to his first summer at Camp Fantastic, where he would spend his next 8 summers.
“Camp was a place I could go have fun and be a normal kid and hang out with friends who were going through the same experiences I had.”
“Even though camp was one week out the year, it allowed me to just be me.”
Throughout Andrew’s teen years, he continued to participate in Special Love’s weekend activities, and even as an adult he took part in the YAC (Young Adults with Cancer) group. Andrew has continued to be a part of the special Love family through volunteering, hosting virtual events, and taking part in Special Love fundraisers.
“I am still Very much involved with [Special Love]. I volunteer as many events as I can. Special love has the can-do attitude. They find a way to accommodate everyone and their needs.”
While Andrew faced many struggles and relapses, through Special Love, he found light in the darkness. One of the friends from Camp that Andrew reconnected with as a young adult truly would become a lifelong friend: his wife, Carolyn.
“I have made many friends along the way. The amazing part is that when we do come together either at camp events or just the passing through town, it feels as if we had never been apart.”