Houston, Texas- Amongst the warmth of a close-knit family resides a charismatic woman whose journey with ALS has become an inspiring testament to love, resilience, and the unwavering support of family and friends. Andrea Allen is a wife with a loving husband of 32 years, mother to 13 children (9 of whom are adopted), grandmother of 13 grandchildren, and sister, whose life took an unexpected turn when diagnosed with ALS in December 2021.
Born and raised in Houston, Andrea has spent a significant part of her life nurturing young minds as a dedicated kindergarten teacher for two decades.
Facing ALS with Positivity
Though ALS has presented formidable challenges, Andrea has embraced positivity quoting “I can smell my flowers while I am living.” A powerful reminder that while she is still here, she has been able to witness the reciprocation of kindness she offered to others in all her years before the ALS diagnosis.
When Andrea first learned about her ALS diagnosis, she turned to the ALS Association for guidance. The association provided valuable resources, including informative videos that helped her comprehend the complexity of the disease. Andrea has since actively participated in the 2023 ALS Walk in Houston, both as a walker and as a speaker, while connecting with dedicated individuals within the association who have played vital roles in her ALS journey.
Music, particularly by Yolanda Adams, has also been a source of comfort.
Educating and Advocating
Andrea emphasizes the importance of early testing to determine the type of ALS, especially in cases like hers—Fus ALS, a rapid and aggressive form affecting approximately only 4% of patients. She wants people to be aware of the profound physical toll ALS takes and the urgent need for research and support to find a cure.
Clinical Trial and Hope
Opting into a clinical trial in St. Louis Missouri at Washington University Hospital in 2022, Andrea has hope for those battling Fus ALS. She is approximately only 1 of 80 participants worldwide, and the first at her clinic location to be part of the trial. Since participating in this clinical trial, Andrea, who was needing assistance with everyday necessities prior, has improved her ability to speak and walk. Andrea hopes that her participation into the clinical trial helps improve future treatments for people with ALS.
Andrea holds firm to her unwavering faith. The most significant lesson she imparts is the value of love and family—a legacy she has instilled in her children, reminding them to stay united in the face of adversity and life’s challenges.
As Andrea continues to navigate the complexities of ALS, her story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others facing a similar battle. Through her courage and bravery, Andrea teaches us the profound impact of love, and the resilience that resides within the human spirit.
In loving memory of Tiana Hart, daughter of Andrea and Barry Allen, diagnosed with Fus ALS and soul rested peacefully in 2015.