As a personal trainer, it is our job to motivate and inspire our clients but this is a case where our client has motivated us. Andy Lipman is a client at our personal training studio and works out weekly with personal trainer, Lori Kannaley. I had the pleasure of not only meeting Andy but I have watched him in the gym in action and he is definitely an inspiration. Here is his story…
Andy Lipman has cystic fibrosis, but cystic fibrosis will never have him. On his 38th birthday, Andy passed the current median life expectancy for people with the disease. Now at 40, Lipman’s life expectancy now far exceeds the expected. Andy is a positive role model, who defied all odds to become a college graduate, Olympic-torch bearer, runner, husband and father. He is dedicated to finding a cure for this genetic disease.
Andy’s experiences dealing with cystic fibrosis inspired him to write Alive at 25: How I’m Beating Cystic Fibrosis, published by Longstreet Press, Inc. in 2001. Forewords for Alive at 25 were written by Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones, sports writer/commentator Frank Deford and former All-Pro NFL Quarterback and CBS analyst Boomer Esiason.
Lipman’s novel, A Superhero Needs No Cape, is written for teens and young adults. Centered on a boy’s dream of playing major league baseball, the story is an uplifting message to young adults and teenagers about the power of hard work, determination and positive attitude.
His most recently released book, The Drive at 35, reveals his journey of discovery and discusses his methods for beating cystic fibrosis mentally as well as physically, and shares his vision for living positively, contributing to the community at large and attaining seemingly elusive goals. (See: www.andylipman.com.) Celine Dion and Garth Brooks are among the celebrities who have praised The Drive at 35 and their forwards are included in the book.
In 2000 Andy started the annual A Wish for Wendy Softball Challenge in memory of his older sister, who died from CF after only 16 days of life, to help raise awareness about cystic fibrosis and fund research for a cure. The softball tournament is now hosted by the Wish for Wendy Foundation, created in August of 2006 by Andy and his family to continue this mission; in recognition Andy was chosen to receive the Community Service Award by 11 Alive-TV. As of 2014 more than $2,000,000 has been contributed to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a result of Andy’s vision. In 2012, Lipman was chosen to be one of the 40 under 40 at the University of Georgia. In 2013, Lipman received the Inspiritor Award at the Turknett Leadership Awards. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Georgia, the first CF patient ever to do so.
Lipman was chosen as the finale conference speaker of the Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Center at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortly after being certified as a Toastmaster speaker. In 2012, Lipman addressed the Larry Bregman, M.D. Educational Conference in Atlanta, GA, an Education Day session at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia, MO, the Children’s Hospital Family Day parents and staff attendees in Norfolk, VA, and the annual conference of the CF Association of Ireland in Wexford, Ireland in addition to sharing his story with local business and civic organizations. In 2013, Lipman spoke at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Lipman has also spoken at several schools including the Marist School, Tritt Elementary and Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School. In 2013, Lipman created a YouTube video “I need a nebulizer” to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis. To date, the video has received over 13,000 views. In 2014, Lipman was a speaker at Terry College Third Thursday and also spoke to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lipman holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia and is currently Director of Purchasing at a multinational company in the greater Atlanta area called DiversiTech which has been recognized since 2004 as one of the top 100 private companies in Metro Atlanta. Lipman also serves on the University of Georgia’s Terry College Business board of directors and has done so since 2012.
Early on, doctors believed Lipman would lack the stamina to compete with other children in sports. In fact, doctors told his parents that it was unlikely Lipman would live into his teens. Despite these predictions, Lipman captains a softball team year-round and annually runs the 10-kilometer Peachtree Road Race. He also runs and adheres to a rigorous daily workout routine. He has also finished a triathlon and completed the difficult ninety-day workout program P90X. An even greater achievement occurred in 2006 when Lipman became a father, a miracle for any male with cystic fibrosis because they are nearly all are infertile. The Lipman’s second child, also conceived with the help of IVF, was born in 2008.
Lipman wants every child with cystic fibrosis to know that this disease does not have to be a death sentence and that they, too, can live fuller lives than anyone ever envisioned.
Lipman currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Andrea and their two children Avery and Ethan.
If you are interested in more information about A Wish For Wendy, want to participate or donate, please visit their website at wishforwendy.org. The event takes place on Saturday, October 25th at Alpharetta North Park.
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