Andrew G. Poulos was born in 1972 to Greek immigrant parents in Atlanta, GA. Days after birth, Andrew was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition and doctors told his parents he would not survive. At six months, and again at age 5, he had open heart surgeries. For many years, the Poulos family spent days and weeks in the hospital attending to Andrew’s medical needs. After years of working tirelessly to get Andrew well, his father, George Poulos, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1983, and just one year later, died at age 43.
Colon cancer is a genetic disease in the Poulos family. Andrew and his siblings began getting tested at age 12. Andrew was diagnosed with familial polyposis at age 15, and at age 17, several weeks after his high school graduation, he was in the hospital undergoing a 12-hour life changing surgery. He spent 16 days in the hospital for his first surgery, and another week for his second surgery 6 weeks later. The life changing surgery led Andrew to weigh 105lbs, have a short-term colostomy, endure physical and emotional pain and depression during his hospital stays. It took many years for him to recover and lead a normal life again. After surgery, his doctors told him that a few more weeks of waiting to have the surgery would have been too late.
Being alive today is a testament to Andrew that health screenings, awareness, top-notch doctors and excellent health care facilities make all the difference.
Several years after having surgery, his younger brother, Demetri, was also diagnosed with familial polyposis and underwent surgery. Fortunately, both Andrew and Demetri are living healthy lives today, thanks to the amazing nationally renowned Dr. Richard Ricketts, who, at the time, was chief of pediatric surgery at Egleston Hospital in Atlanta, now known as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Today, Andrew is a successful entrepreneur operating his own accounting firm, Poulos Accounting & Consulting, Inc., which he started upon graduating college from Georgia State University. He is an Enrolled Agent admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service, assisting individual and small business clients throughout the United States and internationally. Andrew is a nationally recognized tax expert, speaker, published author, and nationally syndicated tax software expert. He has been featured in national publications, and has been referenced as an expert by many sources, including Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, American Express Open Forum, Bank of America, Staples, and AARP. As a regular media contributor he has appeared on Fox Business Network, One America News Network, First Business News, and various nationally syndicated radio shows.
From a young age, Andrew always believed his purpose in life was bigger than being a successful entrepreneur. He believed that his life-long battle of health issues, and suffering personal tragedy with the loss of his father at age 11, made him stronger and helped him persevere in life. He sees his challenges as life lessons and as an opportunity to help others by founding Poulos Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Andrew’s vision has always been to develop an organization that will help families who have children suffering from cancer. We often think of adults with cancer, but there are many young children facing a variety of cancers on a daily basis that are young and too sick to express their needs and feelings. Being in that situation as a young kid, Andrew understands what children endure when they are hospitalized – and the effect it has on the family. Oftentimes, it’s the little things in life that can change a child’s day and put a smile on a child’s face. It’s providing a child with a Holiday gift, making a wish come true or simply providing the necessary resources to the family to ease the financial burden.
Providing children with cancer and their families with needed resources, making wishes come true for children with cancer, and providing public awareness about the various types of children’s cancers, is the focus of Poulos Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc.