Survivors: Andrew

September 3, 2006


I woke up this morning thinking about people in my life who, against tremendous health obstacles and odds, have survived and thrived.

Andrew had cancer when he was 18 and damn near died. Through faith and medicine he pulled through. 34 years later, the side-effects of his treatment at that time have coiled up several times trying to take his life, he has been a survivor. A tremendous role model for all who know him, but especially me, his “big” brother. Since he was 17 he has had a full life, experiencing the spectrum of what “family” is and can be, what business is, what success is, what failure is, and what life is. He has a seemingly uncontrollable love for life and growth.

In January, Andrew had some heart trouble that ended him up in the hospital for a few days. I came up to spend time with him. His behavior in the hospital was instructive. He treated all staff at the hospital as friends. He kept calm as a patient. He knows when to rest and be quiet. He knows how to ask to have family around him. He knows how to buck up to take his treatment, even if it includes jabbing a needle into his stomach (I thought I was going to faint: he blinked, and continued talking).

When he got home, he knew to not overdo it. I’m terrible at that part. The instant I start to feel better, I redecorate the house, crash and burn.

Andrew is now launching an exciting new project that you can read about on his blog,

Thanks for teaching your family and friends your stubborn will to live. We love you.

[Photo of Andrew Bourland (right) and Jim Kelly (left) at our home in 2005, taken by me. The next post in this series will be about Jim, that is, with his permission.]

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