Ashley graduated from Niagara University in 2011. In the summer of 2013 she is riding with a group of college-aged students on a 70 day, 4000+ mile bike ride from Baltimore to Portland, OR.
What is your connection with the cancer community?:
Though we all have connections to this cancer community, I am fortunate to say I have never lost a family member or friend to the disease.
When I was younger, my Grandmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in one breast, and 6 months into her battle she was diagnosed in the other breast. I didn't understand what it all meant but with support and treatment, I can thankfully say she is a 10 year survivor.
My best friend's Mother was 53 (October 2010) when she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. They did a hysterectomy to try to stop the progression of it spreading, but by that time it was too late and had already metastasized to her brain. 3 stage 4 lesions damaged her ability to do everyday tasks and caused seizures. She fought through with radiation and chemo, but that only helped for a month. Unfortunately, the cancer won and by then it was in her lungs, liver and more of her body. My best friend lost her mother on New Years Eve of 2010; 2 months after diagnosis.
Cancer touches everyone's lives in different ways. Though those are the only 2 battles I've had to witness, I know many people in my life who have been affected by, or beaten the disease.
Why are you riding with the 4K for Cancer?:
I am riding 4k for Cancer for everyone who has be touched by Cancer. The Ulman Cancer Fund has an outstanding mission. To be able to inspire and effect so many through this journey is going to be a life changing experience not only for myself, but every one involved. I have no doubt that riding cross country is going to be challenging but the purpose behind it will remind me to keep pushing myself, and keep pedaling. Anyone who has battled cancer has faced challenges far beyond what I am going to go through. I am riding for my friends, family and friends I plan to make that have crossed paths with this horrible disease. By riding, and working with the Ulman Cancer Fund, I am riding to change lives, raise awareness, and make sure that no one has to battle this alone.