When you hear the bright, confident voice of Andrew Holland, it’s hard to imagine the 15-year-old is battling a rare form of cancer with no guarantee how much longer he has left on this earth.
But, Andrew doesn’t let the uncertainties cloud his optimism. In fact, he’s used them as motivation to check off a somewhat long and lofty bucket list.
Since his diagnosis with Ewing’s Sarcoma of the spine in January of 2011, the Radcliff, Ky. teenager has worked diligently and courageously to accomplish personal life goals, including serving as an honorary solider for a day, speaking with Gary Ross, screenplay writer and director of movies such as “The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit,” and just one month ago, appearing on “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” where he danced on camera with his favorite TV host.
“That was pretty much a whole different mindset,” Andrew said excitedly of the moment he met Ellen on Oct. 12 of this year. “It was crazy. I cannot tell you my exact thoughts because I had a million going through my head.”
Andrew is moving as quickly as possible through his list, especially after a recent test scan did not turn out as he’d hoped. Three of the tumors in his spine were found to have increased in size. It’s not the first time Andrew has faced difficult news regarding his illness. Around his 15th birthday, Andrew was pronounced cancer-free, but later discovered the cancer had returned in a highly-aggressive form that was rapidly spreading.
For any person of any age, the experience is not an easy one. But, throughout the entire journey, Andrew’s kept a courageous attitude, sharing his story via television, the internet and the radio. On Thursday and Friday, Nov. 15 and 16, he’ll visit Kosair Children’s Hospital, which has provided him tremendous support and medical care since his diagnosis, to take part in Main Line Broadcasting and Kosair Children’s Hospital’s fourth annual “Just for Kids” Radiothon.
Last year, Andrew participated for the first time in the radiothon, which has raised, to date, more than $750,000 to benefit Kosair Children’s Hospital. “It was really big to think that some of the things I said could make some people donate and get better funds and etcetera for the hospital,” he said of his chance to tell his story to the community on the radio.
For the 2012 radiothon, 99.7 (WDJX), B96.5 (WGZB), Magic 101.3 (WMJM), 102.3 The Max (WXMA) and 105.1 FM Talk (WLRS), as well as La Poderosa 105.7 FM/ 670 AM (WTUV), will air live 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday from the Kosair Children’s Hospital lobby. The radiothon is one of the largest in the U.S.
“My favorite part is being in the lobby as the radio’s on because we actually get to see the kids that the radiothon is helping and hear all their stories,” said Lynda Lambert, cohost of the Lambert and Lindsey Morning Show on 102.3 The Max.
The fundraiser is in partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network and will raise much needed funds for Kosair Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Our goal is to get mostly Miracle Makers, which donate $15 per month for a year,” said Sarah Jordan, midday host on 99.7 WDJX. However, donations of any amount are encouraged and accepted.
Main Line Broadcasting’s partnership with Kosair Children’s Hospital was born of a past partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jordan explained.
“The partnership between Main Line Broadcasting and Kosair Children’s Hospital is one of the highlights of what we do,” said Lambert and Lindsey Morning Show Cohost George Lindsey. “If you’ve ever had a child treated at Kosair Children’s (Hospital), you know the care that they take with each individual child. We approach our role in much the same way. Each of our stations has a unique audience that each year opens their hearts and shares in (the) joy of giving to help these precious little ones. This is what being a live, local community broadcaster is all about – helping, giving and connecting.”
As a parent of a child treated at Kosair Children’s Hospital, Andrew’s mother, Regina Hensley, is thankful for all the facility has done and is proud to support Kentucky’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital, which serves more than 107,500 children annually from throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana. “They are a part of our life, a part of our family,” said Hensley. “Even though (Andrew and I) choose quality of life and we’re hardly at the hospital anymore, they still call and check on us. I can’t say enough about them.”
Neither can Andrew. But, he’ll do his best to convey the importance of the hospital to him and his family during the radiothon, and is eager to help the event surpass last year’s fundraising total. “My experience has been great with Kosair,” he said. “They’ve helped me more than any other hospital probably could’ve, and they’re like our second family. … I just hope this year’s radiothon is going to be as big of a hit as last year, and maybe even better.”
To learn more about Andrew’s story, visit https://www.facebook.com/HelpGetAndrewHollandOnTheEllenDeGeneresShow.
Become a part of Kosair Children’s Hospital’s fourth annual “Just for Kids” Radiothon Nov. 15 and 16 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and support the hospital which has helped children like Andrew cope with cancer. Donations will be accepted via phone by calling 877.335.5437 (English), or 800.245.9121 (Spanish). Individuals and businesses are also invited to stop by the hospital, 231 E. Chestnut St., or visit station websites during the two-day event.
Kosair Children’s Hospital relies on support from the community as a regional facility that treats all children regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The Children’s Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Kosair Children’s Hospital and raises millions of dollars each year to support programs, equipment and facilities, research, advocacy and education.
For more information, visit www.HelpKosairChildrensHospital.com or call 502.629.8060.