Andrew was not a patient; and he was not suffering – he was living with ALS/MND and fighting it every day of his life since diagnosis in 1983. And, at the same time, he was living well and enjoying life.
Andrew was a Trustee and Honorary Treasurer of MNDA for ten years, and then joined the ALSA National Board of Trustees while he lived in the US. At the same time, he was a Director and Honorary Treasurer of the International Alliance from its inception in 1991 until 2010.
In his official roles, Andrew maintained a strong focus on patient support, wanting to improve the care and assistance available to help people live as well as they could for as long as they could. With a less aggressive form of ALS/MND, he was able to share his views and experiences with the many who now lead and support ALS/MND organizations around the world, ever passionate for the fight against the disease; confident and hopeful that a cure would be found.
While we remember Andrew the Board Member and Trustee as a hard and focused worker for ALS/MND, with a unique approach to the multi national financial report, we best remember him as the individual he was, and for the joy and happiness that he brought into our lives.
Who can forget the Alliance “warm and fuzzy” dinners, with Andrew resplendent in his red flashing devil’s horns, regaling all within earshot of his latest escapade. Or his sensitive and focused toasts, offered to all who were part of the fight he was passionate about, encouraging us to develop quality services for individuals who had needs and wants, and to support research as the pathway to the end of ALS/MND. His enormous range of lurid ties, worn to shock and delight, with a twinkle in his eyes and an enormous grin that was his trademark. How many bars have shared drinks with Andrew, ever willing to act the host, encourage participation, and keeping an eye for others who could be roped in to extend the party. The late nights, and then a bright eyed and bushy tailed Andrew would reappear, ready to work and play.
He said so much with a look and a cheeky grin. And now we share the memories.
Andrew Fleeson – in your fight against ALS/MND, you brought happiness and joy to so many people, and have challenged us to maintain our fight to beat ALS/MND – you will be sadly missed.
Andrew died on 15 June 2011 in Northampton, England. He was 66 years old. He lived with ALS/MND from 1983.