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Jennifer Lawrence has not forgetten friend with Down Syndrome despite fame

August 27, 2014 Jennifer Lawrence

Downs Syndrome sufferer Andy Strunk is more than just Jennifer Lawrence’s biggest fan; he’s also her best friend from her home town of Louisville, Kentucky. After landing the Academy Award for best actress this year for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer is one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood right now, but she has never forgotten her humble beginnings or the friends that were by her side back then.

Fame hasn’t changed Lawrence’s kind heart since she rose to fame quickly after her starring role in The Hunger Games films. The storyline of that film was based on bravery and a girl who fought for the people that she loved, which is exactly what Lawrence did for Andy when they were growing up.

When she was 14, Jennifer entered Andy in a contest for the most popular boy in school. Andy’s parents were nervous about it and his mother was very open with Jennifer about her concerns. But Jennifer was convinced that her popular status could help lead Andy to victory and she reassured everyone that it was a great idea. Kammerer Middle School had never seen a campaign quite like the one Jennifer lead, and in the end Andy won hands down and was crowned Mr. Kammerer.

Jennifer and Andy remained friends throughout their school days and they still stay in touch now. Andy has declared himself Jennifer’s biggest fan and collects every article and photo that he can find about the starlet. In fact, his bedroom is basically a shrine to the stunning actress. When asked about Andy, Jennifer said, “He has the kindest heart of anyone I have ever met and he is one of the funniest people I have ever been around.”

The last time she visited Andy and his family was on Christmas Day 2013. Andy’s mother, Pollyanna Strunk, was quoted saying this of Lawrence, “Jennifer is a very kind spirit. There aren’t many people who are movie stars who’d spend time with a special needs kid. She came over and gave him his Christmas hug and he was over the moon all day. When she’s in town she just walks down the street and knocks on the door to come and see Andy.”

She also says that Jennifer’s campaign to have Andy voted as the most popular boy in school was a huge turning point in his life. She says after the campaign is when their friendship really began to flourish. They would hang out together at school and Jennifer’s parents had a pool where Andy liked to go and swim. She says Lawrence always swims with him when she is home.

Andy and his huge collection of Jennifer Lawrence memorabilia

The same cannot be said for another A-list actress who did not treat Andy as kindly. The actress starred in one of Andy’s favorite shows on the Disney Channel and was performing in concert near their house. Andy’s mother bought him a ticket and Lawrence reached out to the star and asked her to do something special for him. Andy’s mother explains, “But they did nothing and Jennifer was really upset because she couldn’t understand why another person couldn’t see he was special like she does. He didn’t expect anything but some people have a kind heart and some don’t.”

At 14 Lawrence left her home town in Kentucky and struck out to try her luck as a child actress in New York, but Andy has always remained a close friend. In fact, Andy has always known Jennifer would become a big star. His mother said, “In his mind he always knew that. I will take him to a bookshop and he’ll stay there for an hour going through magazines looking for anything with her name and picture on. He had a tough time finding pictures and anything about Jennifer for the first couple of years after she left. He’d scour and search like it was a treasure hunt but now it’s obviously much easier. He has a filing cabinet full.”

The A-lister also sends him mementos from her travels. He has a film poster hanging in his bedroom from her movie Winter’s Bone with the message, “Andy, don’t forget me. Love you, Jennifer.” She will be starring in the next installment of The Hunger Games this year as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past, and you can bet Andy will be in the front of the line at the theaters when they are released.

More under: gossips, inspirational, relationships
By: Maverine Lane

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