Ashtyn’s Army

Ms. Fricker, one of Ashtyn’s teachers at Canyonview Elementary school, commented “Know the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child?’  Well, it takes an army to kick cancer’s butt out of that village.  Help show Ashtyn she has an amazing army behind her. She is a tough little girl and is fighting one heck of a battle.”  She is completely right.  Ashtyn is fighting one heck of a battle.  More importantly, it is going to take an army for Ashtyn to triumph.  I have never been more sure of anything.

I sometimes fear the spark in the Army will die down.  I panic to think what we would do without you.  I am certain of Ashtyn’s outcome if the Army loses faith or ceases praying for her.  But the moment the fear comes it is replaced with faith in the Army.  I know we won’t be abandoned.  Ashtyn won’t be forgotten.  We have soldiers on the front line fighting.  We have soldiers standing back with prayers in their hearts waiting for the call to attack.  And when the most fierce attacks are needed, I have no doubt that the entire Army will stand together united in strength and faith to pray, serve, and send all their positive energy with determination to not quit until that battle is won.  The Army will then stand on guard for the next battle.  And so it will go until all battles have been won, the war is complete, and Ashtyn stands triumphant with complete health.  But health is not all she will have gained.  She will look around at the thousands of members of her Army.  She will see thousands who have hearts like God and love like her Savior.  She will see thousands with faith that will change the world.  Thousands with hope that will change lives.  Thousands with goodness that seeps into countries and states.  Thousands with tenderness that improves communities.  Thousands with perspective that strengthens families.  Thousands with purety that softens homes.  And then she will know that because of her strength and faith and the strength and faith of her Army, lives were changed for good.  Her life will be changed for good.  And then she will take her health and all that she learned from you, and will press forward to the next war she’ll have to fight.  She will continue on with life triumphing over all that is in store for her.  There will be no stopping her.  And there will be no stopping you.  Together this world will be forever better and forever changed.  That is what Ashtyn’s Army will do.

Who is a part of Ashtyn’s Army?  You.

Ashtyn’s Army includes family members, friends, and strangers.  However we are all “family” bonded together, united in a common cause.  The Army comes from all cultures, religions, and walks of life.  We couldn’t have it any other way.  We need religious and non religious.  We need spiritual and non spiritual.  We need young and old, male and female, rich and poor.  That’s what makes the Army powerful.  Power comes from the unique gifts and talents each individual has to offer.  Power comes from each individual heart and mind.

One thing the Army has in common is each member has a good heart.  Hearts that are sensitive and tender to the suffering of others.  Hearts that rise up to do good.  Hearts that rely on faith in all it’s unique forms.  Hearts that care about others instead of only thinking of themselves.  Hearts that have hope for a better world.  Hearts that know this world is not as dark as some might wish us to think.  Hearts that know the power of prayer.  Hearts that know the power of optimism and positive thinking.  Hearts that are confident and strong, willing to do what it takes to make a difference.  Hearts that know even the smallest act of kindness or the shortest prayer or the slightest bit of hope is power enough to cure a child of cancer.

Thank you for being a part of Ashtyn’s Army.  Ashtyn has recieved letters, messages, cards, balloons, blankets, necklaces, fun activities, books, stuffed animals, and gifts of all varieties.  I have family and friends waiting for word to come to the hospital to entertain, uplift, and support Ashtyn.  There are others actively bringing me meals and taking care of my needs.  Many people work behind the scenes, giving of themselves and sharing their gifts and talents.  Ashtyn’s elementary school has rallied around my family.  Chandler’s school staff are supporting him. There is a photographer documenting milestones and an IT computer expert building and managing her website.  We have amazing friends and neighbors who bring dinner to my children every night.  Each Monday my house gets cleaned by two dear women.  My family tutors, entertains, and carpools my kids to their various activities.  There is a friend who moved into my house to be the at-home caretaker.  Others invite my kids on fun outings, give hugs, and provide them with needed attention.

There are church congregations around the world remembering Ashtyn.  Her name has been added to prayer chains in different religions and is on the prayer lists at L.D.S. temples in many locations.  She has been enrolled under the special patronage of Our Lady of Lourdes in France and Illinois.  There are many families who pray for her morning and night.  Children include Ashtyn in their prayers daily.  Fasting and prayers have been dedicated to her with her specific needs in mind.  Hundreds think of Ashtyn and hope the best for her.

Ashtyn has heard from people all across Utah and the Salt Lake Valley.  Support has also spread around the country and across the world.  She has heard from people in California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Washington DC, upstate New York, Quebec Canada, Ghana West Africa, Botswana South Africa, Japan, Argentina, and Venezuela.

I am in awe at the strength of Ashtyn’s Army and how it has changed her life already.  Every member is valued. Every member is needed.  Indeed it does take a village to raise a child just as surely as it will take an army to kick her cancer’s butt out of that village. Thank you for being apart of Ashtyn’s Army.

“Cancer may have started the fight, but we will finish it.”

23 responses to “Ashtyn’s Army”

  1. everyone told us that things would die down, but that never happened. spence is almost 2 yrs out of treatment and we still have people saying they pray for us everyday! we will never give up! that is what is so awesome about good friends and family!

  2. I just found out about Ashtyn and Ashtyn’s army yesterday and have been so grateful for her story in my life. I am currently in my 8th month expecting twins and have had a rough couple of weeks. I know am looking at my life differently. If this inspiring 12 year old can face her challenges and frankly knock them flat on her butt than I can surely handle another 4-6 weeks being pregnant! In the past 24 hours when I have started to be pessimistic I only have to remind myself that just about an hour away from my home there is a darling girl who is fighting with all the fight she can and Ashtyn’s Army is standing behind her 100%. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, it cannot be eay to write out feelings and emotions that you have so please know your updates are blessing the lives of others. If there is ANYTHING that I can do for your or for Ashtyn please feel free to let me know. I would love to do anything. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet family. Press on sister!

  3. My little 6 year old Nadia will not let me forget Ashtyn in ALL our prayers. Thanks for letting us to be a part of this army.

  4. Hey, Suzanne, Jason, and all the rest. I don’t think I’ve actually seen any of you in person for quite a while (although I think Suzanne’s family thought I was stalking them up in Big Cottonwood Canyon last summer), but I wanted to let you know that despite being relative strangers after growing up in the same neighborhood, I’ve been keeping tabs on your updates on Ashtyn’s blog. I think there are a lot of us who have your family in our hearts despite being relative lurkers…I feel weird even writing this.

    You’ve absolutely got my hopes and prayers with you, and if there is anything I can do for you at all, don’t hesitate to ask.

  5. HI Ashtyn, you know my son, Jacob, who was in Ms. Joko’s class in 6th grade last year. He remembers you and your cute sister. I think he walked home from school with you guys a few times. We live in the 8th Ward. Even though he’s your brother Chandler’s age, you and Jacob have many of the same friends….Taggart, Savannah, Caroline, SarahKate. I drive carpool with all these kids and we’ve had several conversations about you and your strength in fighting this disease. They all say the nicest things about you, and make we wish that I knew you too! They’re concerned about you and are praying that soon you’ll be 100% cancer-free. So many people love and pray for you…our family is now praying for you too. Heavenly Father loves you and I believe he is aware of you and your struggle. I also believe in His love and mercy. I believe in miracles and that you are a testament to that. Since my youngest son is at Canyon View I volunteer there quite a bit. We are all looking forward to when you get better and come back to school. You are missed and loved! Stay strong and keep fighting!

  6. Ashtyn, I am so honored to be a part of this army!! Now, I am at school right now so I have got a little bit of time to type this message. I love you and I will try to text you more. I love you like a sister!! I hope to see you soon!

  7. May God be with you Ashton. As you fight this know that Heavenly Father is by your side always, through everything! He will not abandon you. Our prayers are with you every day <3

  8. Hey Ashtyn!

    This is Amber. We have one heck of a surprise coming!!! We are so excited!!!!!

    We love you!!!

  9. Remember that the army is comprised of angels in the spirit world who love and care about all of you. They, along with the earthly army, will be there to see you all through until Ashtyn is pronounced healed. Your trial is for the strengthening of many people’s faith and hope. We thank you for including us in your fight against cancer.

  10. Dear Ashtyn,
    I am so happy I am able to be a part of your Army. You are so brave, I don’t think I could deal with something so frightening and sad with your strength. You have taught me a lesson to never give up hope and to hang in there even though you don’t want to. Thank you Ashtyn. Oh, also thank you Suzanne so much! You update so often, I am happy to know how Ashtyn is doing and what’s going on. Ashtyn I love you, and I hope you can go home soon! Love, Abigail

  11. Never worry about your army losing strength. It will only grow in strength and numbers!!! Love you! XOXOXO

  12. I found your blog this morning through the article link on LDS Living. Once I began reading your story this morning I couldn’t stop. You are an amazing young woman and have such strong faith and courage. You are so blessed to have a mother who loves and cares for you so dearly. I’m so glad you have so many angels around you at this time. Your story is an inspiration to me and has strengthened my faith as I’ve thought and prayed for you all day. I don’t usually leave comments on complete stranger’s blogs… but after spending all morning reading your mother’s words, I feel like I know you just a little bit. I hope you get to go home soon… I will be praying for that and wishing you all the best!

  13. Ashtyn & Suzanne-
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are courageous and are touching my heart daily. I pray for you Ashtyn and all your family daily. You are constantly in my thoughts. I’ve had the opportunity to help children fighting cancer at St Jude’s hospital. It amazed me how many of those children had hope and happiness…despite their challenges. Now you face challenges. But I know through your hope and faith, you will conquer this. I will never stop praying for you!

  14. Love this post!! Brought me to joyful tears! Suzanne, you and Ashtyn are such an incredible team. I think cancer is gonna run away & hide from your awesomeness and the strength of the army behind you very soon!! What an inspiration you both are!

  15. Hey Ashtyn we miss you at school and we all hope that you will get to the point of where you are feeling good enough to go home!