Andrew Mast

Imagine if you will. You’re a 4 year old child. What is your concern of the day? Who you will play with at preschool? What cartoon you might get to watch after nap? How you want to line up your trucks in the backyard? What your mom might make you for dinner? Yes, those are the worries of most 4 year olds. But for our first Bootstraps Award winner, Andrew Mast, and his family found their worry was a malignant brain tumor. One that has continued to plague Andrew with physical ailments for the past 14 years – from limited use in his arm, vision loss and weak legs still requiring additional physical therapy.

So what moved this little boy forward? As Andrew writes: “I have never been the type of person to give up when things seem too difficult or frustrating.”

Fast forward 10 years – our 4 year old little boy is now a young man being told he can’t repel from a cliff like his other friends – yet he does it.

Fast forward again – to a young man that complete the half Music City marathon.

Fast forward to today – to a young man that is graduating with a 3.52 GPA having completed the Dual Enrollment program, meaning he will graduate not only with a high school degree, but with 12 college credits.

And tomorrow – well tomorrow that 4 year old boy plans to take his “life lessons” and head to Carson-Newman College as a Bio-Chemistry major to, as Andrew puts it, “develop medicine that fights¬† cancer but doesn’t create the nasty side effects for little kids.”

Will he do it – is that really even a question we need to consider?