Help Send Andrew to IPF Worlds in Sweden!

Andrew’s journey to the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships began with a goal, a shocking diagnosis and an unquenchable spirit.

Andrew was born with Eagle-Barrett Syndrome, also known as Prune Belly. This genetic disorder affects 1 in 40,000 people worldwide with only 50% of people living with the disorder expected to reach adulthood. Many children born with Eagle-Barrett die before the age of four. The disorder affects the development of the abdominal wall, the urinary system (including kidney function, among other issues).

When Andrew was still in the womb, the doctors noticed some swelling with his kidneys and they also noticed that his abdomen was abnormally large. The doctors told us that his kidneys did not function at full capacity and that he would likely never play sports. They made no mention of any disorder that could have caused this, but they asked us to return yearly to check on his kidney development.

When Andrew was 10 years old, we saw a doctor that recognized all the symptoms of Prune Belly, but did not think he had it because he had never seen a living person with the disorder. After running a few simple tests, he diagnosed Andrew properly.

He warned us that Andrew was not likely capable of playing contact sports and asked us when he sat up on his own for the first time. We had never realized that he could not do a single sit up! In fact, he had always rolled into a seated position as a baby and pushed himself upright. We were assured that in his case, he was not in mortal danger, but the doctor reminded us that his abdominal wall was malformed and therefore susceptible to impact that could cause damage and internal bleeding.

Andrew took that diagnosis, at 10 years old, as a personal challenge to be overcome. He worked diligently to improve his abdominal strength and physical fitness. When he was 12 years old, his doctor gave him the all-clear to participate in wrestling. At the beginning of the season, he was able to do 8-10 sit-ups and 2-3 pushups. Andrew’s strength increased quickly over the season, culminating in him winning the district title in his weight class and age group.

In 2015, after our family moved to Duluth, MN, Andrew played football for a season, but didn’t like the sport as much as he had hoped he would. In March of 2017, after a life-changing event, Andrew joined Aerial Athletics and declared that he would become a national champion powerlifter - a goal he achieved 19 months after he began training.

In his first meet in September of 2017, Andrew broke the MN state record in the squat on his second attempt and then broke it again on his third attempt. He also qualified for USAPL Raw Nationals in his first meet. In October of 2018, he took first place at USAPL Nationals in his age group and weight class. He has now been invited to be a part of the USAPL National Team, representing the United States at the IPF World Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden.

The meet takes place in June of 2019, and we need your help to get there!

Here is what your donations will cover: Airfare for Andrew, his Dad, his Mom and his brother to Sweden. Each ticket costs between $1000 and $1300 to purchase directly. We are planning to send one parent (Jason) with Andrew for sure, but it would be amazing if we could all go on this once in a lifetime trip with him.

The hotel in Helsingborg is $150 per night, with us staying a total of 5 nights. If it’s just Jason and Andrew the cost is $750. If we could all go, we would rent two rooms at a cost of $1500.

Factoring in food and incidentals of roughly $1000, the total cost our family to go and experience this with him would be $7200.

Any additional monies raised would go towards his National Team Uniform ($153), a new gym bag for him (from the USAPL Team Store - $135), his programming costs and other miscellaneous items.  Andrew, with our encouragement, decided to quit his job prior to IPF Worlds to focus on his final 8 weeks of high school and his final 10 weeks of training for IPF Worlds.

On behalf of our entire family, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and consider donating towards this campaign.

Donations

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  • Mary Anne Stigen 
    • $25 
    • 16 mos
  • Russell an Alexis Nyholm 
    • $100 
    • 16 mos
  • Mary Anne Stigen 
    • $25 
    • 17 mos
  • Melissa Rosas 
    • $200 
    • 17 mos
  • Anna Foster 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
See all

Organizer

Jason Standfield 
Organizer
Duluth, MN
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