By the age of 28 he has already experienced more than his share of struggles but he is one determined young man. Andy will tell you, “my story Isn’t OVER!”
At age 12 a tumor was found through a concussion occurring during a middle school wrestling match. He underwent a brain surgery biopsy where it was determined his tumor was an “Abnormal Cell Mass” and he would need to follow up with his neurologist every 6 months.
At age 17 upon arriving at home there were police cars and firetrucks blocking his driveway. Entering his house he found his dad bawling because his Mom had committed suicide. This was devastating as she was the closest person to him and she had been by his side supporting him during his surgery. It has been found that support is critical to the best outcome.
The struggle continued when he was near the end of College, he started experiencing intense seizures. An MRI revealed the tumor was now Brain Cancer. Surgery was necessary but only 25% of the tumor was removed and the seizures continued therefore restricting him to no driving.
At this time he met with OSU and Cleveland Clinic who determine Andy’s type of brain cancer required awake surgery followed by 8 weeks of radiation and 1 year of chemotherapy to combat the 6 year life expectancy with Oligodendroglioma, brain cancer.
This surgery was able to remove 80% of the tumor and after surgery he had a huge post-surgery seizure causing his unhealed skull to separate and leak brain fluid. He found himself back on the surgery table for a brain shunt to tie a tube from the brain to his stomach.
This did the trick and with newer anti-seizure medication he was having no more seizures. This made it possible for him to get back in a car. Before chemo he was able to bank his sperm so he can have a family one day.
Andy now is working a full time job and going back to school to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a BSN(nursing). In Andy’s words, “My Story Isn’t OVER!”