Andrew (Andy) Niebler, was born August 31, 1998 to David and Mary Beth Niebler of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Andy was the first born of three in his family. At age 11, Andy was diagnosed with Medullablastoma, a form of childhood brain cancer. Doctors told Andy’s family that he was of standard risk and that he had only a 20% chance of the tumor recurring after it was removed and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Unfortunately, Andy battled his aggressive cancer, enduring many surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments, for 10 months, only to be told it was not working. His tumor had returned and spread. Two months later Andy passed away on July 26, 2011 at the age of 12.
Andy had a great love for learning from a very young age. He learned to speak before his first birthday and was never afraid to ask the how’s and why’s of anything he was being taught—be it at school, home, doctor’s visits, or just about anywhere he went. He loved to watch TV shows that explained how things were made or worked. Andy was an excellent student loved by teachers and friends alike. He also truly enjoyed helping other people and would go out of his way to do just that!
Spending time with family and friends was important to Andy. As were the many pastimes he enjoyed—like playing sports. His favorite sport was playing baseball for the Waukesha Firebirds team, followed by playing tennis for the Waukesha Tennis Association. Biking, running, fishing, kickball, swimming, golf, snowboarding, and tossing the football around with his dad were also on his lists of likes. Andy loved books and was a voracious reader. From a very young age, he would love to correct his mom and dad when they made “a mistake” reading his favorites to him and teachers couldn’t keep the books coming to him quick enough. His favorite series were Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Andy’s favorite pastime of all was building Legos! Lego’s kept Andy busy all of his life and kept his mind off being sick his last year of life. His greatest and most impressive accomplishment with Lego’s was his Star Wars Death Star, which he completed shortly before passing away.
Andy loved food! He had a unique set of taste buds for a 12 year old kid. Some of his favorites were Beef Stew, Chicken Kiev, Goulash, Egg Salad sandwiches, hamburgers, fruit (especially berries), and BBQ ribs. He was known to pass up a bag of chips or candy any day for a bowl of fruit!
Other pastimes enjoyed by Andy were making snow forts, nerf gun wars with friends, taking apart small machines, playing video games, and listening to music. He also enjoyed watching movies—some of his favorites were the Star Wars and Harry Potter series.
His infectious smile, great sense of humor, and witty sarcasm brought smiles to those who knew him and will not be forgotten. He was deeply loved and is greatly missed by his family and friends. Because Andy’s short life had such a profound impact on all who knew him, The Andy Niebler Foundation, Inc. was started to celebrate his life, honor his memory, and at the same time, give back to those who helped in a time of need. Today, The Andy Niebler Foundation, Inc’s goals include raising awareness for childhood cancer as well as raising funds to find a cure for this life altering, devastating disease suffered by so many innocent children.