Andrew is an exceptional young man who, before his diagnosis of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), was a tri-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track; played the saxophone in band; and enjoyed a variety of volunteer work with his church and other organizations. After graduating from high school, he began his studies at the University of St. Thomas in Fall 2020. Sadly, just three months into college, Andrew started experiencing decreased energy, shoulder pain, nausea, and a low-grade fever. He and his family thought that COVID-19 was the cause, but after a negative test, his doctors did additional lab work and were stunned to hear that he had cancer.
Andrew started treatment immediately and struggled with uncontrolled bloody noses, nausea, fevers, digestive issues, and exhaustion. Throughout it all, he relied on his supportive group of family and friends and little miracles to help him through. He “won the genetic lottery” in that 3 of his 4 siblings matched his bone marrow 100%! His brother donated bone marrow for a transplant in April, which unfolded according to plan and Andrew was declared to be in remission!
Through every twist and turn, and through every low point, the prospect of a wish has been a steady source of distraction and hope! When we interviewed Andrew, he let us know that he has fond memories of traveling to Devil’s Lake in North Dakota with his family to fish. His top wish was for a boat allowance so he could enjoy more time with his family and friends on the water. We were more than happy to grant this wish in April when he used the funds we granted – along with funds from a close family friend and his parents – to purchase his BIG wish – a 2021 Lund 1650 Rebel XL SC, “a dream come true!” Due to his hospitalization, the boat stood dry until Andrew was able to launch it, and this past weekend, he took it out for its inaugural fishing trip with his brothers and had a blast. He is even thinking about calling the boat “Fishes & More”!
Andrew still has a long road to recovery with daily trips to the clinic and organ recuperation from chemotherapy damage, but we know that he will have a much more enjoyable Summer with the prospect of fishing on the lake and day trips with his new boat. Join all of us at Wishes & More in keeping Andrew in our thoughts and wishing him a sunny Summer aboard the “Fishes & More”!