This morning while we were getting her ready for "summer camp" -- a glorified title for daycare that enables them to charge more money... Andi was pulling at her shirt and showcasing her heart surgery scar. She said, "I had surgery!" I replied, 'Yes, you've actually had nine surgeries!" I pointed to her nose and said, "you've had many surgeries on your nose!" (choanal atresia) We haven't really talked about CHARGE Syndrome yet, nor how she might be perceived as different in any way. It's more like, 'yep, I've had some help and dang it... I'm a bad ass!' I want to equip her with the ability to stave off any negativity, and turn all into a teaching opportunity. Most people don't get it unless they live it, that applied to me too! Therefore, a few weeks back, I inquired at work why we don't do blood drives at our office. Apparently, there's upward of 600 people in our building, if they all showed up on the same day. With that being said, we now have a blood drive that I'm coordinating. In effort to implore people to give the gift of life, I'm using Andi and her heart surgery story to show how donating blood can save lives. So, her face will soon be all over our building. I'm excited by it and a little anxious too. I am debating bringing her to greet donors outside the vampire truck. I think that might be fun to have her sing her songs, dance her lil' whip & ney ney, and relax people in Andi's unique way?! Hey, if it helps get donors in the recliners and more pint donations... I'm all for it.
So, here we are using our experience to help others. THAT is what I hope Andi will do. Educate others and make people kinder, gentler and wiser. The power of Andi Bean.