Memory Monday: Andrew McDonough

My family and I are blessed with SO many great memories of Andrew, our son and brother, who died from Leukemia in July 2007 at the age of 14. It’s hard to pick just one. Years before Andrew would go to school and be described by teachers as “spirited” (I thought that was a compliment, only to learn it’s not in teacher-speak), I took Andrew with me to the bank when he was probably 2-3 years old. Andrew had a gorgeous head of blond curls that my wife and I never wanted to cut. While standing in line with Andrew in my arms, a very nice elderly woman walked by and, ever so sweetly, touched Andrew on the back and said to me “Your daughter is so beautiful.” Before I could say anything, Andrew barked at her “I’m a BOY!” While I’m giving her an apologetic look, while laughing inside, the nice woman darted out the door. Everyone around us was hysterical. I was, obviously, a little embarrassed, but I guess this one was on me for not cutting his hair.

Joe McDonough is Andrews’s dad and founder of The Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation. You can learn more about B+ at

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