Imagine waking up the day after Christmas and instead of playing with all of your gifts and surprises Santa has left you, you feel feverish, ache and just not yourself. That’s how Ashley Woltman woke up two years ago. For six days, Ashley ran a 104 degree fever and was taken to the emergency room for testing. After undergoing several tests, Ashley was diagnosed with a high-risk leukemia and immediately started treatment.
For two and half months, the Woltman family, including Ashley’s parents, grandparents, and younger brother, Scott, called Ronald McDonald House their ‘home away from home.’ While staying at the House, the Woltman’s found a supportive network of other parents, siblings and families going through similar situations. They were able to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals provided by generous volunteer groups while getting a good night’s rest so they could be there 100% for Ashley. Once Ashley started feeling strong enough, she was even able to come to Ronald McDonald House and play with her brother. “Being together as a family was the greatest gift I could ask for,” said Ashley.
After several weeks of chemotherapy, doctors realized Ashley was not responding to initial treatments, so Ashley underwent further tests and she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia being one of only a handful of patients in the world receiving this rare diagnosis.
Thankfully, everything changed for Ashley last summer when she received a bone marrow transplant and she began her road to remission. Today, Ashley is doing great. She loves being outdoors and has a true passion for wildlife and animals. She also admits, one of her favorite things to do is to ride roller-coasters.
But Ashley’s amazing strength and spirit doesn’t stop there. For Ashley’s last birthday, instead of asking for presents, she asked all of her guests to bring wish list items and donations to support families at Ronald McDonald House. THANK YOU Ashley for inspiring us with your courageous story and reminding us not to take one moment for granted.