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Sandra's Story

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Sandra Jean Andes
1/10/1946 - 3/7/2018

Sandra J. Andes was the epitome of health at the beginning of 2017. Just 71, she was examined by her general doctor to be in perfect health. In fact, the doctor joked if her husband, David Andes, was half as healthy as she was they would be in great shape. She never smoked, walked daily, focused on healthy cooking and enjoyed small amounts of wine occasionally. She was ready to enjoy all that retirement had to offer with her husband of 53 years.

Then in February 2017, back pain started running down her left leg and her speech began to slur. She had an MRI on a Friday and was sent home. That's when the seizures started.

Doctors at Sebring Hospital were mystified. After a several-day stay, they sent her home, telling her to come back if the problems happened again. She went home and within 48 hours couldn't manage to pour a cup a coffee. The seizures were back. Family had her taken to a different hospital this time and she was immediately rushed to Tampa General Hospital. There she had a 10-day stay in ICU. There was a brain biopsy and finally the diagnosis. This vibrant grandmother who was looking forward to family and travel was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme. It was in both sides of her brain.

At the urging of her children - Doug, Tammy and Jodi Andes- Sandy and David moved to Columbus, Ohio, so she could be treated at the James Hospital connected with The Ohio State University. The care was extraordinary. And her fight was legendary. Chemo. Radiation. Electromagnetic Therapy. Avastin. Immunotherapy. There was nothing she won't try to keep this terrible cancer at bay.

At times, it stripped her of all freedoms - walking, talking, using her hands, thinking - but she pushed on. She fought for her life and her family.

Early on, she made the choice that when she died that her body be dedicated to science. She wants others to learn so no one has to go through this disease.
She is survived by her husband, David; children, Doug and Sherri Mendrala Andes of Ashtabula, daughters, Tammy Andes of Fairfield Heights, and Jodi Andes of Pickerington; grandchildren, Aaron and Shelby Andes, Mike Andes, Megan Andes, Ashley and Lee Mendrala, Arthur Joseph Hugo IV, David and Andy Nirode; sisters, Kathy (and Ed) Taylor and Mary Ellen (and Rick) Mock of Ashtabula, brother Darrell (and Candy) Smith of Sebring, Fla.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Elliott and Jean Smith.
There will be no services at this time. The family will be doing a walk for brain cancer in Columbus on June 2. Anyone wishing to make donations is welcome to here http://bit.ly/2p2gcmL So if you give on behalf of her, know it's a good cause and that SJ, as she was lovingly called, never gave up the fight.
Published on March 10, 2018
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