Blueberries Mean Triumph Over Tragedy For Andalusia Family

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By Amanda Wade

It is National Blueberry Month, but for one family in Andalusia, blueberries are much more than just a fruit. They are a way to heal from tragedy.

Jerry's Blueberries in Andalusia is home to more than 100 blueberry bushes. Ginger Flick's brother, Jerry, planted them 30 years ago after he was diagnosed with chronic leukemia, knowing the berries were a healthy way to help battle cancer.

In 2008, his nephew, Aaron Teel, was the victim of a hit and run car wreck. Leaving him with a spinal cord injury as a quadriplegic.

In 2009, tragedy struck again; Jerry died after a car wreck. Leaving the blueberry bushes to his sister, "So now, all the money that we collect on the blueberries, and this has been ongoing now for three years, we just give that to Aaron to help with his recovery process," says Flick.
Teel's medical bills total more than $20,000 every year.
 
This year, Flick says there is a boom in customers with sales rising nearly 20%. Picking season runs through August, but they have already passed sales from previous years.
 
For Teel, this year's blueberry money means a much needed new wheelchair, "I've outgrown it. I've outgrown the use for it. It fit me in a sense that it fit my abilities back then, and so, I'm further along now, and I need a chair that is able to suit my needs and grow with me in a sense."
Flick adds that the fundraiser is a tribute to her brother, "I just know that my brother would be so happy. It would please him so much to know that this is what we're doing with his blueberries."

 

Flick gives every customer a thank you card from her son and tells each of them about the way those bushes have helped their family overcome tragedy through the decades.

Jerry's Berries is located at 9288 Alabama Highway 137, Andalusia, AL 36420; It is open each day from dawn until dusk.



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