Andrea Crowe – In Her Mom’s words

by Hu Team on June 13, 2014

andrea2Andrea always had a fantastic attitude. From a toddler saying “me do it”, to her fighting to stay alive in the face of her life threatening illnesses. When they told her that she wouldn’t be able to see again, she did. When they told her she wouldn’t be able to walk again, she did. With her sheer determination she proved everyone wrong. Her “just give me an inch, and I’ll do the rest” challenged all of the medical staff. She always gave them a firm deadline of when she was to be better by, usually, the next cattle show.

Andrea was only 15 months old when she started her severe illnesses. They would pick one system at a time to attack until, finally, they seemed to attack all her systems at once.

Illnesses did not control Andrea’s life. She would not allow them to. She never complained about being tired or unable to work. She always did what she could with what she had, to make everyday count.

Andrea missed a whole year in 2000, but still managed to get A’s and B’s, doing all her school work in the hospital. She was on the honours list every year; won science, math, school spirit, and most effort put forth awards in high school. Andrea was also an active member in 4H. She served in all of the executive spots, made it to the pro show every year, and was a member of the Scotiabank Hays Classic Team for many years. She won many awards in all her projects, but her passion was dairy. She was the top All Atlantic 4H judge for many years. She was also a champion at the EBI competition.

At 16, Andrea started her own Hi-Calibre prefix and business. She was very successful buying, selling, and breeding cattle. Her All Atlantic and All Canadian awards are a testament to this. Andrea started making a lot of our breeding decisions at the age of 12.

A big part of Andrea’s life was giving back. She became a 4H leader, and had a baby farm yard at the IWK Kermesse every year. In 1996 she had been the IWK’s first Miracle Child. She spoke on the behalf of the hospital whenever needed. She received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award for her efforts in volunteering, the Howard Roper Memorial Award, and in 2005 was a finalist in the Top 20 under 20 in Canada.

Andrea’s many doctors and nurses, both at the IWK and QEII said that they have never seen someone fight so hard to stay alive. She fought her battle with grace, humor, appreciation, and determination. About two months before the end of her life, she said “Mom, we need to talk.” She had things that she wanted done because she was pretty sure that they were not going to be able to find the answer for her. If she couldn’t come back to when she was healthy, like her last time in the show ring, she was ready to go. She said “I’m not giving up, but you need to know how I feel.”

Her friend, doctor, and “adoptive uncle”, Dr. Patrick McGrath said in his eulogy: “Andrea was defined by her love of the people she knew, by her love of the farm, and her passion, love, and incredible skill with cows. Andrea was a fabulous daughter, a deeply loved sister, a wonderful friend, and a “cow girl” extraordinaire. She cared, she laughed, she teased, she joked, she had fun. Andrea was a perpetual joy machine. Andrea lived life to the fullest. She enjoyed her life more than anyone else. She extracted joy from every moment of her life. Hundreds of people around the world have been infected by Andrea, she changed lives. Her warm smile infused happiness into all she met. She brought happiness in all she met. She brought happiness by the truckful.  He knew her well.


Despite all her illnesses and challenges Andrea had against her, she still was still able to enjoy a normal life. She tormented her little brother Andrew, who, unfortunately for her, grew up to be bigger than her and gave it right back. It was all out of love and he was the one person who could always make her smile without fail. She could quote Family Guy and Anchorman line for line, and would send countless texts back and forth with her sister Elizabeth, doing just that. Almost as if they had their own language of ridiculous lines that only they understood the meaning of. She shared her obsession/love of the Blue Jays with her father Ensley, and the two of them could be found on many summer nights watching their ball games in the living room together.

She’s probably shaking her finger at me right now, because just as we never heard her complain, we never heard her boast. When you think of Andrea, do not feel sorry for her or think of her with pity…she would not want that. She taught us all to not take life for granted, do what you can with what you have and make every day count. She was my hero and inspiration and I miss her every moment of everyday. She must have known that, because the day after her service I found a letter to me in her breeding book, the first thing she knew I would look at.

– Anne Crowe


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bloyce Thompson June 14, 2014 at 8:20 am

Thank you Anne!


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