In January of this year, Ashlie developed mild hip pain. As most people would, she treated it with physical therapy, essential oils, light exercise, and sought treatment from several doctors, but saw no improvement. In March, the pain became much less manageable and her right thigh began to go numb. All the while, she remained dedicated to her students and pursuing her Master’s degree. Ashlie kept working the many hours that teachers are required to work, grading papers, writing IEP’s, going to meetings, and attending her own college courses in the evenings. By May, she’d lost all feeling in her right thigh and her pain was so intense that she had to be rushed to the emergency room. After a week in the hospital, two surgeries, and two blood transfusions she was sent home with a misdiagnosis. Eight weeks later Ashlie was back in the ER with the same symptoms only to be sent home yet again, with no answers. Through all of this, she continued working full time and attending college courses. On the evening of August 24th, Ashlie awoke with complete loss of feeling in, and function of, her right leg. Her pain was so intense that she had to be rushed back to the ER where she was diagnosed with a highly-malignant and aggressive tumor on her psoas muscle.
Unconcerned with the decrease in pay, Ashlie took her dream job at William T. Machan Elementary. Even though Ashlie has been teaching for 7 years, she has only been in her current district for a few months, causing her to be ineligible for FMLA benefits. The school was in desperate need of a special education teacher, so she jumped at the chance to go where she could advocate for her students. As many of you probably know, it takes a compassionate soul to be a special education teacher, and Ashlie is one of the best. If you didn’t need any more motivation to help this amazing educator, she has been more worried about the students she will be leaving without an instructor than she has been about her own health. She is already trying to figure out how she can help them from her hospital room. She has such a huge heart that she is more concerned with the way this is affecting her students, family, and friends.
Ultimately, this twist of fate has created a situation where Ashlie is going to be out of work for several months without pay. Ashlie and her wife, Randi, are desperate for assistance with their utilities, hospital bills, food, and mortgage during this trying time. I know there are thousands of other places you could donate your money. There are thousands of other causes that are worthy of your support. Please know any amount given will be used wisely. Every penny you donate will be used to build up this amazing woman who has spent her life building up those who often go unnoticed. The respect and admiration she shows others is virtually tangible; she has a genuine way of making people feel as if they matter. In her own words, she says, “I just want people to feel loved. Too many people never get to feel that.” Through your donation, please show her that same kind of love. Thank you for your sympathy, compassion, prayers, and for partnering with her in her fight for survival.
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