January Hero of the Month helped others while battling cancer


by KREM.com


Posted on January 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 9:27 PM

SPOKANE -- January’s Hero of the Month has had to fight for his life, but he always makes other people the priority.

Andrew Lainson was diagnosed with bone cancer in January 2008. Andrew had pain in his leg, ultimately leading doctors to discover the cancer in his knee.

Instead of feeling defeated, Andrew waged war with chemotherapy and a full knee replacement.

His life changed drastically. Andrew even had to relearn to walk.

Andrew was introduced to staff at Wishing Star, an organization that grants wishes to kids battling life-threatening illnesses.

Before Andrew ever got his own wish, Paula Nordgaarden watched as he volunteered and raised money to help grant wishes for other patients.

"This work is very tough and we need inspiration. So when we meet someone like Andrew it gives you the inspiration to continue doing this hard work," Nordgaarden said.

Andrew’s work to save his own life was difficult too.

He beat bone cancer only to be diagnosed with lung cancer -- twice.

After his third diagnoses, the doctor told Andrew he was unable to operate.

"I think it was the first time I had ever been crushed.  I pretty much just laid there and said ‘Just let me go.  I don't want to do this anymore’.  And then half an hour later I said, ‘Okay what do we have to do; we have to get this out of here now,’" Andrew said.

Lainson not only lifted himself from despair, but family and friends too. He was nominated for KREM 2’s Hero of the Month because of the way he inspires everyone around him.

Wishing Star eventually granted Andrew his own wish: a full makeover and a trip to Hollywood to be pampered like a celebrity. The incredible wish comes second only to the other wish that came true: Andrew is now cancer-free. Even the doctors didn’t think that was possible.

Andrew continues to do great things. He juggles college, a support group he started, and more fundraising events for Wishing Star.

If you know a young person doing good deeds, nominate them as our Hero of the Month.