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Written by:  Tina Lane

Two years ago, in the Fall of  2007, while on her way to RETS Nursing School, Andrea House’s automobile spun out of control.  For reasons still unknown Andrea lost control coming down a hill on Michael Rd., and after flipping several times, was thrown from her vehicle.  She would be transported to the Miami Valley Hospital where her family held vigil for days. 

Andrea would eventually succumb to her head injuries and would not survive the accident.  On her passing Andrea donated her organs, a wish she had expressed her entire life.  Her donated organs would save 5 precious lives.  Andrea leaves behind two sons, Ricky, age 7, and Kyle age 5.

Just 6 months after Andrea’s traumatic death, American Educational Service contacted her parents, Jim and Birdie Buchanan, to seek remittance on Andrea’s student loan payments.    The Buchanans had cosigned the loan, and were now being held responsible.  Birdie acknowledges that cosigning the loan was a mistake.  “I didn’t understand what I was doing,” Birdie admitted regretfully.  “You make mistakes in life and this was one of them.” 

Retired and living on a fixed income, the Buchanan’s are not in a position to pay off the $17,000 loan.  Since defaulting on several payments, the American Educational Service is now demanding the entire loan to be paid in full, with interest and fees, now totaling $21,000.  Still in mourning over the loss of their daughter, the Buchanan’s are at a complete loss.

In contrast to their unfortunate dealings with the American Educational Service, RETS Nursing School has instituted a scholarship in Andrea’s name, one that will support future nursing students as they pursue their dreams.  The Buchanan’s have offered their sincere appreciation for this kind gesture.

“She was a good mom…and she loves her boys,” said Birdie Buchanan in a tearful remembrance of her daughter.  “She was trying to go to school to help people.”

The Buchanans and other family members, including Carie and Terry Flack, Emily Buchanan and Tina Norris have come together to organize the Andrea House Memorial Ride on October 10th to help raise funds to cover these crippling debts.  The motorcycle ride will begin at 1pm at the Eagles in Franklin.  Following the Memorial Ride there will be a Texas Hold Em’ Tournament at 5pm and a live band from 7pm to close.  Tickets are $10 for single riders, $15 for double riders, and $5 at the door for non-riders.

Tina Williams-Norris, Andrea’s cousin, is hosting Saturday’s gathering.  Various family members will be in attendance, including Andrea’s children, Ricky and Kyle.

In a recent letter to the community Tina expressed sadness for the loss of her cousin and her desire to help Andrea’s parents through the resulting financial crisis.  My family agonized for days while the hospital ran the tests to determine if there was any brain function,” Tina wroteWords can’t describe what it is like watching your child, sister or cousin lay there and you sit by helplessly. Andrea was a very special and strong person…  My family honored her wishes and donated her organs so that other families may have life from the beautiful one we lost. After losing their child my aunt and uncle are still being held responsible to pay off Andreas student loans because they had co signed them for her. I feel after all this family has given up and given to help other families that I should do something to help them. 

All donations can be made to the Andrea House Memorial Fund at Carlisle Community Bank.  Donations for raffle are also being accepted for the October 10th Memorial event.

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  1. jessica says:

    Andrea was one of my best friends and she a was great person. she would do anything for u if u asked. so let show support and come out sat. evening to help out her parents.

  2. way to go tina, yuo are an awesome lady! i am sorry for your loss, all of you..



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