Recipient Profile - Andrew O'Bleness
CURRENT AGE/AGE AT GRADUATION
STRENGTHS: Thriver and survivor from leukemia, visionary/ dreamer, determined/ hard worker, self-less, happy and smile(y), caring
WEAKNESSES: sports/ ESPN, shoes and cars
PASSIONS/HOBBIES: working out and being outside, listening to self-improvement podcasts, reading (classics or non-fiction), researching new products in the health and wellness sector.
TOP 3 LIFE GOALS
1. Be a father. When I was diagnosed with leukemia, the doctors were fearful that I probably wasn’t going to be able to do so based on my state of health (not the exact thing you want to hear as a 23 y.o. male with your fiancé in the room). It was motivation to not just beat leukemia, but be healthier than I ever have been. Having accomplished that, whenever we think about children it will be even more gratifying to bring life into this world.
3. Build a life to where we experience all the beauty of the world. I hope we have freedom, whether you want to take that as financial, time, or any other way, to ‘clock- out’ on the stressors of life and continually connect with my life.
BIGGEST TAKE-AWAYS FROM YOUR CANCER EXPERIENCE:
We can conquer things that we may not even know are possible. While I set out to beat cancer and continue living my life, I didn’t know that it was going to be such a moving experience as far as inspiring me daily to be a better person. It is like I have a new shade of sunglasses on, more optimized, clearer, things are in fuller colors, etc. after cancer, and I am not going to let that go away. I am also realize how powerful a smile can be, whether it was the doctor who encouraged me to keep going with a smiling face or seeing another person in the clinic down that day and trying to uplift them with a smile knowing what they are going through. I am so invigorated to live life and want to extend that to everyone, regardless of what they have been through.