Live Life for Life

December 14, 2009
By
Live Life for Life

Andrew Helton is the epic hero of his own life story. Andrew, my cousin, has been dealing with a very rare genetic disorder for twenty-eight years. This disorder is called Alstrom’s Syndrome, and there are only about three hundred known cases in the world today. Andrew was diagnosed with Alstrom’s when he was sixteen years old, but he has been dealing with it since he was born. He has been deaf just about his entire life, and he went blind when he was in the sixth grade. On top of that, he has been dealing with asthma and congestive heart failure. As every hero, he always remains positive. He is very kind, and just like Odysseus, he is able to adapt to any situation that comes his way.

My family and I stayed in Florida for a while, and I really got to know Andrew. When we were there, I was shocked at how positive Andrew could be. He wouldn’t always feel his best when he woke up; nevertheless, he would still make jokes to make anyone laugh. He often makes fun of his sickness, and sometimes you forget the he is even ill. Similar to Odysseus, his attitude towards life gets Andrew through the problems he encounters.

Andrew’s kindness outmatches that of everyone I have ever met. He was completely willing to help take our family in when we went to Florida. He attempted to cheer us up if we were feeling sick or if we missed home. One of Andrew’s life ambitions is to as he says,” help people help themselves.” This has inspired him to remain in school to get a degree in Psychology. His willingness to help perfect strangers proves that he has a kindness stronger than Odysseus’.

I truly admire Andrews ability to adapt to tough situations most of all. Even though he is blind, his favorite hobbies are cooking and reading. He cooks by feeling the food he is making. He reads through Braille, or he listens to audio tapes. Any time that we would go on a walk, he would use a cane, or he would hold onto someone. Andrew has to use memory, touch, and what other people tell him to pick out a simple thing like clothes. This can be difficult; however, he still finds the clothes by himself. He says,” I am most proud of the fact that I can make people think that someone who can see picked out my clothes, when really it was me.” Andrew’s adaptability is a trait that he has in common with Odysseus.

Andrew Helton is a very influential person in my life. He has taught me to remain positive in tough situations, be kind to anyone that I come across, and to be able to adapt if I have to. All of these traits make Andrew the obvious choice of a hero. As Andrew says, “Live life for life and make memories that you can cherish all the rest of your days.”





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