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Andy’s Story

Published on December 6, 2017 in Share Your Story

Hello, my name is Dana, and I am writing this story for Andy. He’s not feeling well, and he asked me to help him. I am his girlfriend of a year. We met on-line about this time last year. I was very anxious about our first date. You never know what kind of crazy you are going to meet for the first time with this on-line dating thing. Meeting Andy changed my life–for the good. I had just moved back to my hometown of Crofton, Kentucky to be with family after a very painful divorce. It took me a while to entertain the idea of going on a date, but I’m glad I did.

Andy was like a breath of fresh air. He is the funniest, most affectionate man I know. He had a way of melting all the heart-ache that was bottled up inside me until it was completely gone, not a drop left in the bottle. Neither of us have a lot of money. Most of the time our dates consist of watching Redbox movies and eating microwave popcorn or taking walks on the long country road that leads to civilization. Andy lives in an adorable, old white farm-house out in the country, surrounded by The Sound of Music hills and mooing cows. I feel warm, happy, and protected when I’m with Andy. He’s a jokester and an impersonator, and I never stop laughing when I’m with him.

Andy has been a hard-working man his whole life–a blue-collar worker. When he was 16, he went straight to work because he became a father for the first time. He gave his whole life and heart to that little girl who is now a very strong, confident, independent 23-year-old woman. I’m in awe when I see how much she loves her Dad. My father was not much in my life, and it has affected me to this day. I admire Andy for taking responsibility at such a young age—when most kids would just be out partying, Andy was taking care of his family. Now, I enjoy watching him be a father figure to his 12-year-old nephew who is being raised by his sister, a single mom. Anytime Andy gets any extra money, he wants to spend it on his nephew and not himself. It’s touching.

Most of his life, Andy’s worked in factories, but most recently, he’s been doing electrical work until May of last year when the head-aches and the numbing of his face brought him to his knees. I urged him to go to the doctor, but he was afraid of the cost; however, on August 21, 2017, he finally let me take him to the ER. He couldn’t take the head-aches any longer. There, he had a CAT scan and was diagnosed with a brain tumor on the front right side of his brain. The picture I’ve attached to this application is from that day. You can see the pain and worry in his eyes. Not only did we get this news, but we lost our baby that I was carrying at 12 weeks on August 28, 2017. These two life changing events have been very challenging,–emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially.

It’s been very hard for me to watch a man with so much strength, heart, and potential be forced to spend his days on the couch, resting, nervously counting down the minutes until the doctor called with a surgery date. Andy finally went in to the University of Louisville Hospital on October 24, 2017 for surgery to remove his brain tumor, but he didn’t even make it past the initial being put-to-sleep stage. Something went wrong with the anesthesia, and we almost lost him. His blood pressure went down to nearly nothing, and he almost died. The doctors ran all kinds of tests, and they could find nothing. He is rescheduled to try again on December 12, 2017. I am very worried about him, but I believe that this time, he’s going to make it through.

Because Andy has not been able to work since May, he is behind on all his bills. The bill-collectors call nearly daily, and it hurts me to see Andy go through this since he’s always tried to pay his bills on time. His family and I have helped him as much as we can, but he still has a car and car insurance payment, line of credit/credit card payments, rent, utilities, and food to purchase. Being approved for this grant would be the best Christmas present I could receive–because it would go to someone I love more than life.

Opinions expressed within this story belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of the National Brain Tumor Society.

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