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Published April 19 2012

‘I will beat this’: Benefit planned for 22-year-old NDSU grad with leukemia

FARGO - Late last fall, 22-year-old Andrew Lynch felt ill.

The recent North Dakota State University grad, who his dad calls an active member of the community volunteering with different nonprofits, felt like he had the flu, along with lower back pain. So he went to a local walk-in clinic to see what was going on.

There, clinic staff told him his white blood cell count was off the charts. After being sent to the hospital for more tests and observation, Lynch was diagnosed in December with acute myeloid leukemia.

His father, former Fargo City Commissioner Rob Lynch, said that upon hearing the diagnosis, Andrew Lynch looked his doctor right in the eye and said, “I will beat this.”

Now, several months later, those who know him have organized a benefit this Sunday to help defray the rising hospital costs associated with Lynch’s chemo treatment.

Because he has an aggressive form of leukemia, Rob Lynch said doctors prescribed an aggressive chemo treatment that keeps him in the hospital for three to four weeks per round. He has so far completed three rounds of treatment and has one more to go.

And although Lynch has shown positive signs throughout his treatment, his father says he’s not in the clear quite yet, though every day brings him

closer and closer to winning his fight.

Steve Carbno, disaster services director at the Salvation Army where Lynch often volunteers, said the young man’s courage and spirit have been inspiring.

“Through it all, he’s not given up,” Carbno said. “He’s going to beat this thing.”

The sad irony in Lynch’s situation, Carbno said, is that a person who so often dedicates himself to helping others in the Fargo-Moorhead area now needs help himself.

“This kid is wise beyond his years,” Carbno said. “He understands that he has a talent, and he wants to use that talent to help people. Now, the tables have turned, and we have to help him.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535

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