Roswell’s Bouquard was a model sur­vivor

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - Camille P. Wiche, Ph.D., is vice pres­i­dent of Clin­i­cal Re­search Ser­vice at Roswell Park Com­pre­hen­sive Can­cer Cen­ter. is a first-per­son col­umn open to all Western New York­ers. If your ar­ti­cle is selected for pub­li­ca­tion, a photo of you is re­quired. Email

The Roswell Park fam­ily goes through a lot to­gether. Over the last few days we said a sud­den good­bye to a dear friend and col­league. A man who beat can­cer as a teenager and went on to teach the rest of us how to live well and, above all, how to lift oth­ers up.

An­drew Bouquard’s jour­ney at Roswell Park Com­pre­hen­sive Can­cer Cen­ter be­gan in 1996, when he was di­ag­nosed with non-Hodgkin lym­phoma at age 19. He un­der­went surgery, mul­ti­ple cour­ses of chemo­ther­apy and a bone mar­row trans­plant, and took part in a clin­i­cal trial.

En­cour­aged by his doc­tors, Andy – whom many knew as Drew – re­turned to school to pur­sue a bi­ol­ogy de­gree from the Univer­sity at Buf­falo. He re­turned to Roswell in 2003, this time as a clin­i­cal re­search as­sis­tant, be­fore to keep giv­ing to oth­ers. How to make time for ev­ery­one.

He would take time out of his day to visit with Courage of Carly Fund mem­bers – kids with can­cer – form­ing friend­ships and serv­ing as a true-to-life ex­am­ple that their can­cer ex­pe­ri­ence would al­ways be a part of them, but, at least to a point, the ex­tent was up to them.

He served as a voice for can­cer sur­vivors, speak­ing at com­mu­nity events and shar­ing his story. He vol­un­teered with our Sur­vivor­ship Pro­gram. And it was no sur­prise to any­one when he vol­un­teered to be the youth hockey com­mis­sioner for The 11 Day Power Play in 2017.

Most re­cently he was fea­tured in Roswell Park’s Su­per Bowl com­mer­cial ti­tled “Dear Can­cer,” which show­cases the in­spi­ra­tion and courage of Roswell Park’s can­cer com­mu­nity.

Andy was proud to be a can­cer sur­vivor, and he showed us the truth of the no­tion that sur­vivor­ship be­gins at di­ag­no­sis. “You’re sur­viv­ing be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter treat­ment. It’s all sur­vivor­ship,” he would say.

He bore his can­cer legacy with pride. But be­yond can­cer, he taught us how to be good peo­ple, how to live well and fully. Andy was big-hearted, gen­er­ous, in­spir­ing, ded­i­cated. A de­voted fam­ily man, he loved his wife, Christa, and son, Bren­dan, more than any­thing and was thrilled to be ex­pect­ing an­other child. He was a won­der­ful per­son. Andy’s sud­den death last week has left us reel­ing – friends, col­leagues, those who knew him by his smile just pass­ing him in the hall­way. But he has left us with so much – lessons that will af­fect our own lives and for­ever in­flu­ence our un­der­stand­ing of can­cer sur­vivor­ship.

He un­der­went surgery, mul­ti­ple cour­ses of chemo­ther­apy and a bone mar­row trans­plant, and took part in a clin­i­cal trial.

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