September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Ashley. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Ashley’s fundraising page.
At the beginning of August, thousands of Metro Atlanta teenagers began their senior year in high school. Ashley Anderson would have been one of those students had Acute Mylegenous Leukemia (AML) not invaded her body in early 2006. This sweet 8 year old girl went from being healthy and energetic child to suddenly fighting for her life due to a rare and aggressive blood cancer in a matter of a couple of weeks. Children with AML are given a 50% survival rate at diagnosis.
Doctors immediately began chemotherapy to get Ashley into remission but after five weeks in the hospital, her bone marrow biopsy revealed that the chemotherapy was only partially effective. Ashley would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. As Ashley’s parents and younger sister were not suitable donors, doctors were forced to use stem cells from cord blood of an unrelated donor.
After an additional nine weeks of inpatient chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the treatment finally reduced her leukemia to an acceptable level for transplant. On August 1, 2006, doctors began her transplant. Even though the transplant was initially successful and her new white cells were beginning to function, Ashley’s body began to weaken from the intense chemotherapy and side effects of the bone marrow transplant. Ashley lost her courageous battle on November 17, 2006.
Ashley’s courage and determination continue to be an inspiration to all. She and her story have made a profound impact on the lives of others. Her beauty, intelligence and sweet spirit will always be remembered by those who knew and loved her. We will never forget her incredible smile, abundant energy, and terrific hugs. We love and miss you Ashley.
CURE is an organization that strives to bring happy endings to stories like Ashley’s.
Childhood cancer research continues to be woefully underfunded, and we hope that CURE will continue to receive the financial support to fund the pediatric cancer research projects that are so desperately needed to save the lives of our precious children. Friday night football, proms and high school graduation are just some of the experiences Ashley and thousands of other childhood cancer patients miss. Please consider helping CURE with supporting the patients and families of childhood cancer and funding the research needed to cure these terrible diseases.