Tag Archives: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“Andrew’s Army”: Remarkable Documentary Now Available Here

Last weekend, I joined a capacity crowd at Town Hall. We had the honor of watching “Andrew’s Army.”

Andrew Accardi

The 31-minute documentary traced the life and death of Andrew Accardi. The Westport native battled neuroblastoma — a very rare childhood cancer — from age 5 until his death 15 years later.

He was a Staples High School golfer, a popular young man with many friends, and a fighter whose big heart and great spirit inspired all who met him.

The film was a labor of love by Sam Bender, a 2011 Staples classmate and longtime friend. He captured Andrew’s personality and character — and also shined a light on the staff at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, who treated  him so long, and loved him so much.

“Andrew’s Army” is not just the title. It’s the name of Andrew’s many admirers — of all ages — who have raised over $1 million for neuroblastoma research.

Hopefully, the documentary will spur even more donations. It’s a remarkable video, one that deserves an audience far beyond Westport.

It’s available now on Facebook and Vimeo.

And right here, on “06880.”


The tagline of “06880” is “Where Westport meets the world.” So here’s my request:

If you’re reading this, and have any connections or ideas on how to distribute this video far and wide, please click “Comments” below. Or email me privately: dwoog@optonline.net.

“Andrew’s Army” must keep marching on.

“Andrew’s Army”: Video Documents A Life Well Lived

From the time he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma — a very rare childhood cancer — at age 5, until his death 15 years later, Andrew Accardi battled hard.

He was a valued member of the Staples High School golf team. He vowed to walk across the stage on Graduation Day, 2011 — and did. He amassed a legion of friends and admirers, with his big heart and even bigger spirit.

Andrew Accardi

Andrew died on October 31, 2013. His friends — in Westport and at Villanova University, where he was a finance and marketing major — and family members, who called themselves “Andrew’s Army,” had already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for neuroblastoma research.

In the 6 years since, they’ve done even more.

The latest: On Saturday, October 26 (6:30 p.m., Town Hall), there’s a special screening of a documentary, “Andrew’s Army.” A reception at Tavern on Main follows.

It was a labor of love by Sam Bender, a longtime classmate and friend. The talented filmmaker created it as his senior thesis at Emerson College. (At Staples, he earned renown as the first videographer for the boys soccer team.)

Sam Bender (left) and Andrew Accardi, in high school.

The 30-minute film touches on the personal and private parts of Andrew’s life. He kept quiet about his health struggles. He was adamant about being treated “normally” by his peers.

Andrew never asked for sympathy or preferential treatment; he only wanted to live his life to the fullest. The documentary shows how hard his fight was — and how hard he fought.

Sam interviewed Andrew’s family, Westport and college friends, the Villanova president, and doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia who treated him so long and loved him so much.

It’s an inspiring story. Andrew’s Army marches on!

(Click here for tickets to the October 26 film screening at Town Hall, and reception at Tavern on Main. All proceeds go to neuroblastoma research at Children’s Hospital. You can also donate on Venmo: @andrewsarmy.)

Joining Andrew’s Army

When Andrew Accardi died on October 31, legions of family members, friends and teammates mourned.

The 20-year-old Villanova University finance and marketing major — and 4-year golfer at Staples — lost his 15-year battle with neuorblastoma, a brutal childhood cancer.

Andrew Accardi

Andrew Accardi

Over several years — led by Andrew — a group called Andrew’s Army raised over $350,000 for neuroblastoma research at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, where he was treated so well. The money has aided breakthroughs in fighting the deadly disease.

Now — despite losing their leader — Andrew’s Army has pledged to do more.

During the coming months, they’ll organize a series of fundraisers for neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers.

This morning, Andrew’s Army launched a Facebook page. In its first 8 hours, it earned over 800 likes.

The page is the first step toward gathering an online following. That will make it easy to spread the word about upcoming events.

To add your name, click on www.facebook.com/FightForAccardi. To donate right now, click here.

Help Andrew’s Army march on.

Services Set For Andrew Accardi

A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate the life of Andrew Accardi — the 20-year-old who lost a long battle with cancer this week — is set for Wednesday (November 6, 10 a.m.) at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 149 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the Accardi family suggests a donation in Andrew’s memory to “Andrew’s Army,” in support of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Maura Mitarotondo, 64 Shorefront Park, Norwalk, CT 06854).

To send online condolences, click here.

Andrew Accardi

Andrew Accardi