Unsung Hero Award: Andy Cook

alt textAndy with CancerCare Director of Regional Programs, Kathy Nugent, LCSW
Andy Cook is a young man who has, in a short time, touched many lives through his creativity and love of comic books. In April 2015, Andy reached out to CancerCare inquiring if the organization would be interested in him providing comics and other books to cancer patients and their families as his Bar Mitzvah project.

Andy had been affected by cancer from a young age; two of his grandparents had died of cancer and his surrogate grandmother had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and was being treated with chemotherapy. When Andy heard about CancerCare’s Magnolia Meals at Home program, a free meal delivery program for breast cancer patients and their families, he thought it would be a great idea to also give a gift of a book or comic to the patient and their children.

alt textAndy's homemade comics, like this one, were delivered to hundreds of cancer patients

The “Captain Andy’s Comics–Making Connections from the Heart” program took off, with Andy collecting hundreds of books for distribution to cancer patients. Each book has an insert of his comic, and the book is donated in memory of a loved one who has died or in honor of a survivor. Andy also donated comic books to bereaved children and teens who attended the Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp.

Additionally, Andy shared his love of comics by attending a “comic book creations” program for bereaved children, explaining how he created his first comic hero, Monkey Man, and encouraged and inspired the kids to tap into their own innate super powers to create their unique super hero.

alt textIn May of 2016, Andy was recognized at the Russ Berrie “Making a Difference” award ceremony

In May of 2016, Andy was recognized at the Russ Berrie “Making a Difference” award ceremony honoring “New Jerseyans who have made a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act.” In describing Andy’s dedication, CancerCare’s Kathy Nugent, LCSW shares, “Andy is truly an amazing young man who recognizes the beauty and magic of books. In his own quiet way, he has provided so many moments of joy and peace to cancer patients and their children.”

Andy’s mission has now branched out to local hospitals. The Valley Hospital and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center have connected with Andy, and he is now donating his special books to patients at both cancer centers.

Posted by Guest Blogger on June 3, 2016 in Advocacy, Children, CancerCare News

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Comments

Anat Katzir said on Sunday, June 05 2016
Andy, we at TBO are so proud of your learning, your projects and your good nature! We you'll continue making amazing contributions to the community!
esther wolfer said on Sunday, June 05 2016
Very well done Andy!!! Your sensitivity for others is priceless. Our Family is so very honored to call you & your Family--Our Friends. May G-D grace you with health, knowledge & contentment. as you continue to Make A Difference --Tikkun Olam--to do Acts of Kindness in the Repairing of this, Our World.

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