POSSIBLE for Andee’s Amazing Army BY LISA KENNEDY
With the motto “Inspired by one, supporting many,” Andee’s Army continues to make strides in its mission to help children with brain injuries. Since its inception five years ago, the nonprofit Youth Brain & Spinal Cord Foundation has provided financial assistance to over 100 patients for uninsured medical expenses and related costs for their individual recovery.
t all started with a 14-year-old girl named Andee. In 2011, Andee Poulos of Sandy Springs had just returned to school from holiday break when a severe headache turned out to be internal bleeding from an extremely rare acquired brain injury called an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). As typical with non-traumatic acquired brain injuries, the AVM went undetected until a rupture caused sudden internal bleeding within the brain. Although Andee couldn’t walk, talk or eat and could barely see, she began an inspiring journey of recovery with a determination and faith that amazed everyone. Four years later, she regained her ability to walk and talk, and returned to school as a straight A student. Building AN Army With the same steadfast resolve as Andee, a wide circle of friends and family formed Andee’s Army Inc. in 2011 to identify and help families of children with non-traumatic acquired brain injuries who are most in need of resources not covered by medical insurance or related expenses. In 2014, Andee’s Army expanded its scope to include all neurological injuries, in order to support more youth facing
similar devastating life-altering challenges. Eligible expenses considered for their personal recovery and rehabilitation include therapies, doctors and related specialists, home health aids, durable equipment, assistive technology equipment and basic home modifications. TEAM WORK Andee’s Army has strengthened its partnerships with Shepherd Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, offering every resource possible to restore and rehabilitate each child and adolescent. It has additionally established a multi-year endowment fund administered through Shepherd Center to support rehabilitative medical treatment and home care needs not typically covered by insurance or other compensation sources. COMMUNITY SUPPORT Andee’s Army hosts several fundraisers each year, including the annual Evening of Hope on Sept. 16 at Flourish in Atlanta. Proceeds provide grant programs for financial assistance to children and youth during all phases of in-patient hospital care, rehabilitation care and home environment care.
As a lifelong friend of the Poulos family, I was truly grieved to learn that Andee had suffered a devastating AVM and was fighting for her life. I wanted to help, as did scores of other friends. Andee’s Army was born out of our love and compassion for this child, and our commitment to help her ‘come back’ and live her life as fully and as independently as possible. As a result of Andee’s success, we have learned that we can make a difference! All it takes is for a child to feel that others believe in his or her chance for a recovery, a committed army of family and friends, and, of course, money to provide the needed professional care.” – John A. Carlos, chairman of Andee’s Army Southern Seasons Magazine