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American Cancer Society recognizes Hedgesville High student for leadership

Andrew Potts of Falling Waters hopes to get into a fast-track program for medical school so he can become a cancer doctor

March 26, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Hedgesville High School senior Andrew Potts was recently recognized by the American Cancer Society for outstanding student leadership.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — Andrew Potts is determined to become a cancer doctor no matter how many sleepless nights it takes.

After staying awake for 24 hours at a time at seven American Cancer Society Relay for Life events, Hedgesville High School’s senior class president should be ready for late night study sessions for medical school.

“I’m sure it’s taken years off my life, but it’s well worth it for Relay for Life,” said Potts, 18, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

Potts, who was recently recognized by the American Cancer Society for outstanding student leadership, said he hopes to get other young people to stay up with him at this year’s relay, which is slated for June 1 at Martinsburg High School.

American Cancer Society Community Manager Barbara Henry said Potts is probably one of the most dedicated young men that she has ever been around, lauding his help with the relay, particularly with cleanup efforts.

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“He goes 100 percent all the time,” Henry said. “What he says he’s going to do for you, he does.”

Henry said Potts always told him that he wouldn’t go to a college that doesn’t have a Relay for Life event.

Potts hopes to get into a fast-track program for medical school that starts at Shepherd University, which holds a successful relay event each year. 

The death of a former neighbor from cancer inspired Potts to become active in Relay for Life, which also honors cancer survivors and remembers loved ones. 

Potts said his neighbor, Natalie Hadley, was like a second mother to him growing up.

“She was just an amazing person,” Potts said.

Hadley was 43 years old when she died in February 2010 after losing a second bout with breast cancer, he said.

“Even throughout her entire diagnosis, she always kept a positive head about everything,” Potts said.

She always would say “head high, eyes to the sky, it’s going to be a great day,” Potts recalled.

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