Monday, February 25, 2013

JTSF Rockstar | Ashley Otstott (February)

Ashley is a happy, friendly and out-going girl who does whatever she can to help others.  She is very kind and compassionate. Ashley enjoys hanging out with her friends, watching Penn State Football and tailgating, going to THON, hanging out with her Penn State friends, and going to the beach. Ashley also plays softball, sings and swims. She lives with her sister, Dani, and her parents.  

When Ashley was three she started getting bruises for no apparent reason, complained of bellyaches and leg pains and was tired all the time. She then started getting petechiae on her neck and under her eyes. Her parents took her to the pediatrician, who sent her for lab work. Upon getting the results, the Otstott’s were sent directly to Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. The following morning, she had a bone marrow biopsy, spinal tap and chemotherapy injected into her spine. This was to determine what type of leukemia she had. Ashley was diagnosed 2 days before her 4th birthday in 2001 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). 

Ashley Collage2

Ashley underwent 26 months of treatment, which included spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies and chemo by mouth at home on a daily basis. An additional part of her treatment included frequent clinic appointments, chest X-Rays, echocardiograms, platelet and blood transfusions, and numerous hospital stays for neutropenia.

Ashley showed great courage and strength during her fight against pediatric cancer. She is now a 9-year cancer survivor and is now focusing her attention on raising money and awareness for pediatric cancer. She raises money for the Penn State Dance Marathon as well as her High School, Susquehanna Township's Mini-THON. Ashley serves on a committee to help plan her high school’s mini dance marathon (which is a smaller version of Penn State’s 46-hour dance marathon that hundreds of schools across the state participate in). Her hope is to do all that she can to raise money to help find a cure so that other kids never have to go through all that she, and so many others like her, have had to.

ashley collage

Ashley’s family hopes that she continues to live a happy, healthy and normal life. Her family has wishes for her to achieve all that she sets out to do in life. Her parents, Sharon and Bob, hope that she will go to college and have a successful future. Her mom says, “She deserves the very best life has to offer.”

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