‘To God be the glory!’ Katiffany Andrews: A triumphant spirit

 

“Fight the good fight” is a Christian principle few people accomplish within God’s allotted time. Add the certainty of constant pain to that equation and the number is even fewer. Katiffany Andrews was unique in that she possessed a determined spirit to praise God nonetheless. That is why the Jackson Advocate dedicates its front page to Katiffany, a true champion for the cause of Christ. Her story is one of living faithfully beyond the pain of the disease, and refusing to allow death to have its sting. It should compel all of us to give thanks for her. Wear your white robe well, Katiffany! Let your spirit fly high to inspire generations to come!

Faith fest to pay tribute to Andrews

By Alice Thomas-Tisdale Jackson Advocate Publisher

Approximately four years ago on Oct. 12, 2008, some of Jackson’s most outstanding gospel and spoken word artists gathered at Cathedral AME Zion Church for a “Love and Healing Fest.” Another celebration of the victory of faith will be held on Friday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. This time, unfortunately, the guest of honor, Katiffany Andrews, will not be physically present. She died on Sept. 6 from complications due to Sarcoidosis, the disease that also claimed the life of comedian Bernie Mac and football great Reggie White. Funeral services will be held at St. James M.B. Church, 9100 Old Highway 24, McComb, MS, at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15, followed by a repast at Brentwood House, 601 Delaware Avenue, McComb, MS. Lakeover Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Katiffany was 33. Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the development and growth of tiny clumps of inflammatory cells in different areas of your body.

 

It can affect virtually any organ, but most commonly it affects the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin. In the U.S., the lifetime risk of Sarcoidosis is approximately three times higher among African Americans than Whites. Because Sarcoidosis can escape diagnosis or be mistaken for several other diseases, the prevalence of the disease can only be estimated. The mortality rate among African Americans is approximately 13 times that of Whites. The disease can prove fatal in about five percent of cases. Andrew’s doctors have said her case was the worst they’ve ever seen. The disease severely impacted the function of her pancreas, liver, lungs, and other internal organs. Although Andrews was frequently hospitalized and more times than not in excruciating pain, she held to the belief that she would fully recover and be able to resume a full and productive life. The basis of her belief was her faith in the healing power of God. For years, doctors were astonished at her perseverance. One of her favorite quotes was: “Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” Those who knew her were overwhelmed by her unrelenting spirit and precious smile.

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