LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- She’s always as “busy as a bee.” In fact, that’s her nickname.
Lafayette native Brenda Andrus gives her all to her family and her community earning her the distinction of being a “Remarkable Woman.”
From cooking meals in her own kitchen for seniors to serving in six organizations, including the Martin Luther King celebration committee, Andrus is all about community.
Every Thursday, she buys, prepares and serves meals to 75 senior citizens.
Andrus says she’s, “In the community, just love to volunteer but I don’t do is all by myself. I pick up the phone and call friends, family, cousins. My sisters are like, Brenda can you give us a break? I mean like do you sleep?”
Andrus was nominated for the Remarkable Woman award by two of her nieces. Quite fitting since she is not only dedicated to serving her community, but she’s also focused on family. Andrus says she and her siblings, “Each take a holiday and try to gather our siblings and their kids.”
The Lafayette native is one of seven children. She credits her parents for instilling her spirit of community service, and her independent nature. Her mother died from lupus at the young age of 31. Her father married again, and her stepmother would succumb to the same disease in 2007.
Andrus recalls the tragic loss saying, “So that’s two moms, same disease.”
And it’s because of that, Andrus dedicates much of her time to spreading awareness of lupus despite her fears. She said, “I was scared to make 30. When I made 30, all of us were afraid and now we’re all in our 50’s or so.”
But that would not be her only health scare. Andrus says at, “three years old I had a major surgery. I swallowed bubble gum, and I put a straight pin in it.” That pin punctured a lung.
“Doctors said it was like a 50/50 chance of removing one of my lungs. God has given me a 2nd chance because the doctor said I had 50/50 at three, and I’m going to be 62.”
The damaged lung was successfully removed, but because of that, she says she later developed scoliosis, which required major surgery. She survived that as well, deepening her faith and inspiring her to live each day to the fullest.
Andrus says, “Every moring when I wake up I say thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus.”
She retired from a 31-year career with the city of Lafayette in 2011. A truly remarkable woman who gives her all on a mission to uplift and inspire, to serve everyone she can, all for the betterment of her community. “It’s all about serving the elders, the young ones, whoever is in need,” she said.
Andrus is one of the four top women nominated from Acadiana in the “Remarkable Women Campaign.” It’s a nationwide Nexstar initiative to honor the influence that women have had on public policy, social progress and the quality of life. Profiles of the top four Acadiana nominees will air on local newscasts every Tuesday, from February 11, 2020, to March 3, 2020, and the nominees will be featured on our website.
On March 6, 2020, one local woman will be announced our “Remarkable Woman” and that woman will be considered for “Nexstar Woman of the Year.” Our area’s “Remarkable Woman” will travel to New York City, attend a special reception where television talk show host Mel Robbins will be the featured speaker. The winner will also attend “The Mel Robbins Show” taping on Wednesday, March 18th, when Ms. Robbins will exclusively announce the “Nexstar Woman of the Year.” The show announcing the winner will air during the week of March 23.