East Alabama humanitarian faces cancer with community support

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TALLASSEE, Ala. (WRBL) – The east Alabama community is rallying around Tallassee’s Volunteer of the year as he’s in the fight of his life against cancer. Andrus Love is truly is one of a kind. Love uses his sharp mind, servant’s heart, and unmatched work ethic to enrich others.  

Love pours out much of his time and resources into giving back, and his family is his most significant treasure. Love is a living example of a character in action as the founder of S.O.A.R. Inc., an organization dedicated to uplifting the community through serving others in counties across east Alabama. 

“The name speaks for itself: Serving Others Accepting Responsibility. I consider myself a helper. I have always wanted to help people, and I use my life to learn from others and allow myself to teach others,” said Love.

Love understands the power of education and considers himself a lifelong learner. He earned a masters’ degree in Clinical Psychology & Counseling from Troy University 2011; with a bachelors’ degree in Criminal Justice from UAB 2001. Has 10+ years of experience serving in Juvenile Probation, Electronic Monitoring, Counseling and Case Management affiliated with Department of Youth Services & Department of Human Resources, Mental Health Activity Therapist affiliated with Alabama Department of Corrections (incarcerated adults), Adult Group Home/Residential Treatment and Clinical Health Management. Love is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Southern Union State Community College.

“I worked with the Tallassee Recreation Department for 12 years, and when I was short on a coach, Andrus always stepped up. My preacher has a saying, and he says it every Sunday; Love finds a need and meets it, and that’s Andrus,” said friend and teacher Tammy Merrett.

Teaching life skills through activities is Love’s calling. He coaches kids and takes them fishing. He performs service projects for seniors and single moms. He sets up feeding programs to help those in need. He facilitates conversations about bullying and abuse. When Love sees or hears of a need, he does his best to fill it.

“He has helped young and old, really the most vulnerable in our community, and that stands out to me,” said Suzy Wilson.

Dale Padgett Sr. is Love’s uncle. Padgett is a lifelong educator and says while Love has earned many degrees and titles in his life, there is nothing pretentious about him., 

“I have never met a more genuine person in my life. What you see is what you get. Andrus makes the world a better place,” said Padgett. 

On December 2, 2020, Love was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Leukemia. He began treatment immediately at UAB Cancer Center. He has undergone chemo, radiation and is preparing for a bone marrow transplant in May. The procedure is lengthy and requires a three-month inpatient and outpatient hospital stay at UAB. Love needs to be in Birmingham as doctors make sure his body accepts the treatment. It means he will have to be away from his beloved family, on top of a significant financial burden that comes with battling cancer. 

“He has done so much for the community. It’s time for us to give back to him,” said Tonja Jennings. 

Love is worried about being away from his wife and children. He has faith.

“The battle is already fought; I just have to get to the other side,” said Love.

Love and his family need help to get to the other side. A GoFundMe page has been set up to take donations: Help Support Andrus Love & Family

As Love prepares for his bone marrow transplant, he begins another round of chemo on Tuesday. Love continues working on community outreach programs in the middle of battling cancer. 

“I talk a lot about a victim versus victor mentality in what I do. Andrus is the example of a victor. He keeps fighting and putting others first. No matter the trials, tribulations, and challenges he faces, he is still doing all he can to help those who need him,” said Tevin Brown.

The world is a better place because of Andrus Love. We are thankful for all he does in service to others. We send our best wishes as he continues this journey and will update you on his progress.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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