ATEC - Episode 74: A Life in 147 Days ft. Andrea Wilson Woods

Episode 74: A Life in 147 Days featuring Andrea Wilson Woods

Andrea Wilson Woods was barely an adult herself when she got legal guardianship over her 8-year old sister Adrienne after their mother called to say she no longer wanted to be a mother. An actress trying to make it in LA, Andrea worked hard to make ends meet while they navigated their new relationship in which Andrea became Adrienne’s mother first, her sister second, and her friend third. 


Then, when Adrienne was 15 and experiencing profound pain she was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer. Andrea focused on giving her sister who was now her daughter the best 147 days she could in the time she had left. From meeting Jay Leno to spending the day with Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, Adrienne made every moment count. As she lay dying, Adrienne taught Andrea how to live and Andrea found the strength to change her own life. This episode of And Then Everything Changed is a story of motherhood, adulthood, sisterhood, and discovering who you are meant to be.

Andrea Wilson Woods is a writer who loves to tell stories, and a patient advocate who founded the nonprofit Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association. Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Cancer University, a for-profit, social-benefit, digital health company. With Cancer U, Andrea synergizes her talents of coaching, writing, teaching, and advocacy. For over ten years, Andrea worked in the education field as a teacher and professor for public and private schools as well as universities. Andrea obtained her master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California; her nonfiction writing has won national awards. Her best-selling and award-winning book, Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, is a medical memoir about raising and losing her sister to liver cancer.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)