Meet Andie Downes. She is 14 and going into Grade 9 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Andie is a competitive Irish dancer, has a dog named Papito and has a family that's always there for her. She also struggles daily to overcome anxiety, OCD and the hidden effects of stress.
In her own words, Andie is proud of getting honour role in school and getting all "A"s on her report card this past school year. When she grows up, Andie would like to be a journalist or scientist, but she hasn't yet decided.
However, she does know one thing: Andie wants to help kids who struggle with OCD. She wants them to know that they are not alone:
"I don't want any kids to go through what I had to endure with OCD."
Research has shown that fewer than 10% of people with OCD seek treatment and help. Lives such as Andie's show us how important it is to be brave enough to speak out and speak up.
Andie says that her Mom, Cheryl, is like her best friend. Her mom says that Andie is learning to be brave every day in managing her OCD and anxiety.
Cheryl also says that Andie's Brave Soles are a reminder to be brave everywhere she goes :)
Our mission in Brave Soles is to always remember that we are all connected. From our choices in consumption to our choices about who we want to be, we can all be brave.
Andie is walking proof of this. Her story reminds us that she is truly an elite member of our #soulsinbravesoles tribe :)