Meet Andy Mullins, a Special Olympics Virginia athlete who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. The rare genetic disorder is characterized by distinctive abnormalities of the head and face. As a result, Andy has had 58 major surgeries on his head and face.
However, his physical appearance and disability barely tell the story of a man who is dedicated to his community.
Andy is a proud multi-sport athlete who is a member of his church and has many hobbies and talents. He’s goofy, and kind, and everyone around him raves about his calm nature.
"In the general public, there is a lot of cruelness towards people that look different. Going out to dinner we might sit in a booth and be ridiculed the entire time. That still happens. But when you're in a community like Special Olympics, here, he is accepted."
Has he been through a lot? Yes, but Andy remains steadfast in his commitment to life, rarely ever filing a complaint.
This Saturday night, Andy will lead the athlete oath at the 2023 Fall Championships Opening Ceremony celebration.
“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”