Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers

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Offline Andy Battaglia

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Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« on: June 30, 2007, 06:30:49 AM »
I'd been wondering if I should do something special for post #1000 and then this topic came up.

I've often been asked what my connection to thalassemia is and if I am a thal myself. No, I am not a thal and no one in my family is thal. Until five years ago, my only contact with thal was that I employed a part time worker who is a thal minor. I own a comic book store in upstate New York in the US. Lisa Cammilleri, who was the founder of the Thalassemia Patients and Friends site on MSN was a comic book collector and even came to my store with her father when she was in her teens, but it wasn't until 2002 that her friend, Angela, who is also my friend, brought her into my store and we met. Angela had told me a little about Lisa and I had also been to Lisa's personal site from a link from Angela's Sarah McLachlan site, and I had learned some about Lisa and a little about thalassemia. When I met Lisa we hit it off immediately and became best friends almost overnight. It turned out we had grown up in the same area and gone to the same high school (in fact, her mom was also a graduate of the same school two years before me), and also had much in common with our hospital horror stories. It wasn't long before we were calling each other little sister and big brother.

The longer I knew Lisa, the more I tried to learn about thal. Lisa was impressed by my efforts to understand thal and invited me to join her MSN group and come to the next scheduled chat. At that chat I met some people who are still friends today, including some dear friends in the Maldives, Maako and Shaneez.  At the second chat I was to also meet Shilpa, who would have a great influence on my understanding of what living the life of a thal was like, both in social and medical contexts. When I was invited to the Maldives for International Thalassemia Day in 2006, and Miaki was unable to attend, it was Shilpa who I recommended to take Miaki's place. As the Maldivian thals will attest, it was a good decision. The combination of my knowledge of thal along with my positive attitude and encouragement and Shilpa's real life experience in dealing with thal and chelation during her lifetime, had a fantastic effect on the Maldivian thals. Our visit proved to be very successful and we are often asked by the patients to make a return visit. 

When I first joined, the group was underactive and one member expressed some great frustration in a post about the lack of help she found. When I saw that post I felt that someone needed to make an attempt to answer posts or find someone who could answer them.  I thought that since I wasn't a thal who had the hassle of doing desferal for 10-12 hours each night, that maybe I would be a good candidate to fill that need, especially since I am always online anyway, due to the retail industry's reliance on the internet.

Lisa was very happy that I took the time to make friends in her group and that I was making attempts to answer questions and stimulate participation from the members, so she made me assistant manager of the group. As Lisa's health worsened from hepatitis, she relied on me to take care of her group. When her health failed and she was hospitalized, I would visit every day and she would ask me one thing. How many new members? We reached 200 members on MSN when she was in the hospital and she was elated. In 2006, Danielle and I moved the group to a private site so that we could bring a much improved site to our members. Lisa would be so happy to see how large her group has grown today.

Lisa counted on her big brother, Andy man, to take care of her group. This group is Lisa's legacy and it is only because of her that we are here. I have worked hard to preserve Lisa's legacy and make it grow and thrive. I have tried to and continue to try to learn everything I can about thalassemia and all related issues. I read study after study online and every time someone asks a question, I go hunting for an answer. I have a long standing interest in the body's needs for vitamins and minerals and have been able to incorporate that knowledge into understanding the nutritional needs of thals. I have a knack for searching the internet and understanding the material I find. I have attended overseas conferences where I have listened to lectures from the top thal doctors and researchers in the world, and have also been a guest in the Maldives for thal day.

Why do I do it? When Lisa died, I could've walked away. My connection to thal was gone. Lisa counted on me and this is her legacy. I couldn't leave that. I couldn't leave the friends I made. I couldn't leave what seems to be a calling. I got involved because there was a need for someone and that need still exists. As Canadian Family so aptly put it one time, we all long for the day that I am not needed and am put out of work. I stay involved because this is the best thing I have done in my life and each time someone tells me I helped, I know it's what I should be doing. I think Lisa would agree.
Andy

All we are saying is give thals a chance.

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Offline §ãJ¡Ð ساجد

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 07:01:46 AM »
Hi buddy!

:party :party


Congratulations on you 1k Posts :thumbsup

It was really a speacial post! :clap

God Bless you always!
اَسّلامُ علیکم Peace be Upon you
§ãJ¡Ð ®âµƒ
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Kathy11

Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 08:55:13 AM »
Thanyou Andy/
For your kindness and your devotion to your friend.It warm my heart to read this story of how you became involved with knowledge of thalassemia.
I for one is so gratefull for your support and the support of all the other members of this site :clap :clap :clap :clap/
I now have a better life because of this site,
Kathy

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Offline Manal

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 10:33:01 AM »
Andy, your post had really touched me so much. You are such a sincere and caring person, if the world is full of people like you , it would have been paradice. We all love you and we all owe you. You had a great impact on all our lives. May God bless you :bighug

Manal
 

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Offline Lyanne

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 01:40:05 PM »
Hi! Andy! I'm so glad  somebody like you  took charged and thanx to you everyone's question were answered and always are satisfied with your answers........... thank you for the sincerety and devotion for the care you showed to all of us who are looking always for answers..........
And of course congrats!!!!! we made it through to our 1000th post. Keep up the good work!!!!!
ThAnX for many more PoSt to c0mE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :smiley :grin :yahoo :clap :cheer :whistle :martini :party :stars :love
LYANNE :yahoo

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Offline Zaini

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 07:30:03 PM »
This is very kind of you Andy,you are always such a great help,specially for people like us, from the developing countries,where medical conditions are not that advanced,

Thanx a lot,

ZAINI.
^*^Xaini^*^

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Offline Sharmin

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 07:40:19 PM »
Hi Andy,
I was so touched by your post.  Lisa would be so proud of what you continue to do for thalassemia patients and families.  We are all so lucky to have you, I was feeling lost before I found this site and you - you have changed so many lives.  God bless you for the amazing work that you do!  Thank you  :hugfriend :hugfriend :hugfriend,

Sharmin
Sharmin

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Offline Gabri

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2007, 10:22:06 PM »
Andy you became a blessing for many thals through your effort and support. It is great to know a place where we can recive help. For many years i thought that i would be a single case of thal but now i realised that there are many people all over the world with similar problems. This is due to your work.

God bless you

Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 12:53:07 AM »
Hi Andy,
Reading your post about your role on this site,sincerely touched the heart.I dont know many people in this world today who does not have thal or anything to do with it and would do what you have done for us thals around the world.Your compassion to learn about our illness is heartfelt so i as a thal major patient thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me & everyone else on here.If it wasnt for you wanting to learn where would we be!
P.S A funny story when i first joined the group i actually thought u were a doctor as you are so knowledgable about thal! and to be honest i think you actually do know more than some doctors out there & help us more.Keep up the good work.
 :hugfriend

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Offline Courtenay1826

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 04:17:18 AM »
Andy-

You have been such an inspiration to me and my family - I totally could not have gone thru both my son's c section and my splenectomy without you and your wonderful referrals and advice that helped save my life. We love you!!



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Offline Alia

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2007, 11:10:33 AM »
Andy u r a legend i think there should be more people like you.you are great help to all of us.

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Offline KHALIFA

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2007, 05:45:49 PM »
THANK YOU BIG BROTHER
RED_PILOT

Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2007, 05:38:30 PM »
WOW ANDY!!! YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING PERSON. I WISH THERE WERE MORE LIKE YOU. GOD BLESS YOU FOR SAVING ME FROM HEARTACHE, PAIN, AND DEPRESSION. I WAS ON MY LAST STRAW BEFORE I FOUND THIS SITE. I WAS SO READY TO JUST CRAWL IN A WHOLE AND DIE. I FELT SO ALONE AND I THOUGHT NO ONE UNDERSTOOD ANYTHING I WAS GOING THROUGH. MY FAMILY WOULD GIVE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT EVERY NOW AND THEN BUT EVERYONE IS SO WRAPPED UP IN THEIR OWN LIVES THAT THEY REALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND MINE. YOU'RE TRULY A GODSEND. THANK YOU.

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Offline AL

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Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 12:42:26 AM »

P.S A funny story when i first joined the group i actually thought u were a doctor as you are so knowledgable about thal! and to be honest i think you actually do know more than some doctors out there & help us more.Keep up the good work.
 :hugfriend
[/quote]

Hi andy,

Keep up the good job,,i know for sure that everyone here appreciate your existance,,,frankly speaking at first, i felt the same way as with sydneygirl,,i thought you were a doctor as you were the first to reply my post and with lots of useful information. God Bless

You inspire us all

Re: Who Am I And Why Am I Here? Andy Answers
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2007, 05:41:32 AM »
I see everyone liked my post about me thinking andy was a doctor!!! lol
I just said which was from my heart andy your more like our doctor & you inspire us! thanks  :wink

 

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