Mile #8 in honor of Andriko

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Andriko was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in 2018, when he was thirteen years old. For two and a half years, he fiercely battled this wretched disease, all the while showing tremendous strength, resiliency, grace and inspiration. Sadly, days before his sixteenth birthday, Andriko’s body betrayed him. He was laid to eternal rest on his sixteenth birthday, leaving behind in tremendous sorrow his devoted younger brother, devastated parents, and scores of grieving friends and family. Andriko was born and raised in Northern Virginia, and now rests in peace in Upstate New York. 

Throughout Andriko’s young, brief life, he accomplished great achievements. Andriko was a violinist who played in regional youth orchestras, at weddings, talent competitions and for the elderly at their care facilities. He was self-taught in piano, mandolin, guitar and saxophone. Andriko was fluent in Ukrainian and also spoke Spanish. He loved being in nature, exploring trails, going on hikes and camping overnight in a tent. Andriko was a Boy Scout and earned many merit badges and leadership positions. He was also an active, skilled athlete, who played and excelled in various sports. He participated in soccer, basketball, and fencing. Andriko also very much enjoyed reading philosophy, theology, and history. He was a student at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA and had grand plans to attend university upon his graduation in 2022. Very tragically, Andriko passed away shortly after his sophomore year, in July 2020. The school offers a scholarship in Andriko’s memory.

Andriko will always be remembered for his quiet disposition. He was thoughtful, contemplative and most content wrapped in his thoughts. He engaged well with others and had many caring friends. They enjoyed composing and performing music, participating in the school debate team and academic quiz bowl team. Above everything, Andriko loved his brother the most. 

The Bilaniuk Family wishes to thank Andriko’s medical care team, and continues to pray for all the warriors, survivors and angels! 

Andrea Lebedovych Bilaniuk
Author, Blue-Celled Boy

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