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About Andrea

The Full Story

How it began

In 1998, Matt and Andrea met at a wedding, fell in love, and after a two and a half year engagement, married in 2002. Their son Jacob was born in 2004 and after a heartbreaking miscarriage, their daughter Sydney was born in 2007. A week before her birth, Matt graduated with his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He went to college part-time while working full-time for eight years, taking a year off in between to get married and build their home. He worked at his new job for less than a year when he was tragically killed in 2008. Trying to live the life they built together without him in it felt impossible to Andrea. Since their lives were so drastically altered by his loss, she felt that everything else needed to change, too. Nine months after Matt's death, she left her career and life in Buffalo behind and relocated across the country to be closer to family and sunshine.


Andrea made lifelong friends while living in California and began actively volunteering in peer-based grief support for widowed people through Soaring Spirits Int'l. For twelve years following her loss,  Andrea served in various positions: assistant to the founder for one year, workshop presenter, ambassador, regional group leader, and mentor. After two expensive but priceless years in California, she returned to the east coast to assist her ailing mother.


Inspired by another young friend's devastating loss, Andrea became the founding Soaring Spirits Regional Leader for the Buffalo, NY area in 2018 (now under new leadership), and mentored two Regional Leaders for a large group in the Southtowns in 2019.

From 2016 - 2019, she also served as president of The Matthew R. Row Scholarship Foundation, Inc. which she co-founded with Matt's former colleagues. During its time in operation, the foundation distributed $32,500 in college scholarships to high school seniors in the Western New York area who lost a parent or guardian, and $4,000 in Camp Widow® registrations. Funds were raised through an event called the Run For Row 5K that was held at Como Lake Park in Lancaster, NY annually for nine years.

Also in 2019, Andrea launched a small business creating handmade Malas for meditation. Through the Malas by Andrea social media accounts, she shares her original creations as well as the strategies that have been helping reclaim her health after a diagnosis with autoimmune conditions.

How it's going

Currently, Andrea is working toward her master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an expected graduation date of August 2024 while simultaneously pursuing certification in Grief Counseling.


Recognizing the growing need for secular, therapeutic groups specifically for spouse/partner loss, she decided to establish a program of her own. Understanding the unique nature of this type of loss, she created a curriculum that addresses the needs and issues widowed people face. In addition, she published a journal that is also used in her groups. Andrea facilitates these groups for the WNY area, which also serve to build a supportive community for local widowed people. This program has been receiving positive reviews from participants, and is highly recommended by mental health professionals from Hospice, school districts, and private practices across Western New York.


Raising her two wonderful children as an only parent will always be the greatest achievement of her life. 

Beginning Fall of 2023, Andrea will be accepting individual clients as a supervised counselor intern in addition to the continuation of the ARROW Grief Groups. 

Questions? Email Andrea at:
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