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Fighting until the last shot: Help a Husky stay alive

AndrewM SMAndrew Moritz is the kind of guy you can’t help but root for. The big brother of four sisters who always looked out for them. Always inspired them with his tireless work ethic, practicing free throws in the driveway well after dark, running laps after everyone else stopped. Inspiring his teammates at Franklin High to push through the pain, ultimately winning a state title.

Listen to 97.3 KIRO FM’s Josh Kerns profiles former Husky Andrew Moritz and the amazing outporing of love and support in his battle with a rare, killer cancer

They told him he wasn’t good enough to play for the UW Huskies. But he kept coming back, eventually earning a scholarship with his hometown team.

“It’s this attitude of, you know, he doesn’t listen to anyone when they tell him no. He doesn’t listen when they tell him he can’t do something,” says his sister Martha.

But his tenacity and will are being put to the ultimate test. Andrew has been fighting a rare, deadly form of cancer the last few years. He’s undergone nearly 40 rounds of chemo, including what doctors call the big guns. Powering through debilitating treatments that cause most to quit.

“His body has taken an unbelievable beating from this amount of chemo. And you know, all the doctors can figure is he wants so bad to stay alive that they can’t figure out why else he’s been able to withstand it all,” Martha says.

MVPTempImageIt’s that tenacity and spark that drew former Seattle Storm star Adia Barnes to Andrew. She first met him as one of several guys who practiced with the team to help push them harder.

“He’s just someone who lights up the room, always has jokes, always a smile, never a frown. So he’s just someone you love to be around.”

She’s kept in touch over the years, and earlier this year she found out his insurance was tapped out and his family had spent virtually everything on his treatments. So Barnes put the charitable foundation she created to work. They’re staging a fundraising run Saturday morning at Greenlake to raise money for Andrew to continue treatment.

“I would want someone to give me that opportunity, the last chance. The ultimate opportunity to try to live. And I think that he deserves that. So if I can help a friend and raise that money to send him somewhere, then I’m going to do that,” Barnes says.

And you can help by joining the effort. Because as Adia puts it, the game isn’t over until the final buzzer sounds. And in talking to Andrew, he’s not about to stop taking shots until that happens.

-Josh Kerns/97.3 KIRO FM

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