Today I was woken up by a phone call from a reporter for Fox 13 News Utah. From 11:45 am to 1 pm Canyonview Elementary School had plans to tie lime green ribbons around the school to show their support for Ashtyn. The news channel was covering the story and the reporter wanted to interview me before heading to the school. She hoped that Ashtyn would want to talk but I knew she wouldn’t feel up to it. She came to Ashtyn’s room, asked me a few questions, and headed to the school.
Ashtyn’s dad was at the school and had this report. “The school staff, students, friends, and family gathered in green shirts to show their support and love for her. It began with many friends and loved ones tying green ribbons around every tree and pole on the front of the school grounds. As each grade finished their lunch all of the kids would come out and tie green ribbons on the fence spelling out Ashtyn’s name. Many of the kids asked how Ashtyn was feeling and when she would be returning to school. Some of them gave gifts to be delivered to her, many of them wanted to make sure Ashtyn knew how much they love and miss her, and two boys in her grade even took the time to write and sing a guitar duet they had written for her. A beautiful banner was hung on the front of the school and the school marquee had a message of encouragement as well. For those people who were there it was overwhelming to see all the love and support people have for Ashtyn and their strong desire for her to overcome this challenge. But with every person who was there we know there are countless others who would have loved to be there if possible or who support Ashtyn in other ways. It was an outward expression of love for her that was overwhelming. For those of you who were there and for all those of you who were unable to attend we want to express our gratitude for everything you are doing to help Ashtyn recover. It does not go unnoticed.”
Here are more messages from friends and family that I received:
“Happened to drive by Ashtyn’s school today. Started crying. So amazing.” Friend Maria
“I thought it was awesome! The fence with her name in it looks amazing as does the front of the school. I pointed it all out to my 9th grade daughter on our way home and she was very moved. For me it was really special since my kids went there and it was such a coming together of various groups of special people in my life. Parents like me who no longer have kids there, my fellow gym rats, and of course all of the kids! It is beautiful!” Friend Krista
“I took off part of the end of school so that I could make it. It was worth it. It was just really special. She truly has an army behind her. Her family, friends, and anyone who supports her are amazing. You could tell that it wasn’t just that the kids got to climb and jump on the fences but that they really cared and want Ashtyn to get better so that she can come back home. Every day I see kids walking home with big green A’s on their backpacks or ribbons. There is also green ribbons on mailboxes everywhere. It’s also great to see the way that she has inspired everyone. The entire time I was there I overheard conversations talking about the strength your blog gives them, and how Ashtyn lifts the spirit of their children and their families. I hope she knows how beautiful she is whether her head is shaved or not, it doesn’t make a difference.” Friend Amber
“Wish Ashtyn was feeling better. She would have liked to have seen the kids at school cheering her on with chants of ‘let’s go Ashtyn!’” Family Jared
“It was really touching to see everyone come to support her. She has some really great classmates. Everyone was very eager to tie a ribbon for her.” Friend Jennifer
“I was so overwhelmed by the army for Ashtyn. Our school is limed all the way. There were so many people there. It was overwhelming and so awesome. The kids were so awesome and excited. The kids came in and loved the decorations. My heart is so full tonight for a beautiful young lady who is going through a tough battle. I love this amazing family so much. There was so much love there for you and Ashtyn and your family. How can someone not feel the compassion and embrace the spirit that is going on? It makes you burst with the spirit and energy. You and Ashtyn were there in spirit. I know Ashtyn feels my love. I know you feel my love.” Staff Roberta
“I had a wonderful experience today. It was so uplifting to be with a group of people who were outwardly showing their support for a very brave young lady. I had an epiphany while I was there. Yesterday, I spent time whining that I had too much to do. Today, I gave gratitude for all my many blessings.” Staff Shelley
“I was overjoyed by the turn out and support and donations of ribbons. I loved seeing the kids and their love for Ashtyn. It truly warmed my heart. I was excited to see friends and family and neighborhoods showing support. So much talent. Alone, trials are impossible but together as Ashtyn’s Army we can do hard things.” Family Kristi
“I think everyone felt good being able to be together and see and feel the unity of love and support that we all feel for Ashtyn, you and your family. It seemed to be very worthwhile for the kids. I could see that they care a lot about Ashtyn and it was a good way for them to show that they care.” Neighbor Julie
“I thought it was amazing how all those people came for Ashtyn, and how many caring hearts are out there. I knew Ashtyn had an awesome army there for her, but honestly the ribbon tying blew my mind! Ashtyn is an awesome girl and deserved every bit of what we did today. Seeing all of those people there for her made me so happy for her. Really it didn’t make you feel bad for her, it made you happy there were so many smiling faces while helping Ashtyn.” Classmate Nikki
“It was very inspirational and everyone was supporting her.” Classmate Nicole
“I thought it was really amazing and made me feel really happy that so many people are supporting her and in her army! It was so fun to go and tie the ribbons and see all those bright green shirts! I know Ashtyn will feel so glad that she has everyone in her school supporting her. I really loved it!” Ashtyn’s friend Kaylee
“I thought it was heart warming to see what the parents put together for Ashtyn, and that so many students were happy to participate. I was glad to see everyone putting so much effort into showing their support for Ashtyn.” Classmate Abigail
How was Ashtyn’s day? Simply said, she doesn’t feel well. She did tell me five reasons why. The worst thing she’s dealing with is a painful throat that always hurts. There continues to be sores in her mouth. Her feet and hands feel hot and prickly. The rash that covers her body is annoying and itchy. And her body is so tired. Ashtyn doesn’t complain much. She’s pretty quiet throughout the day and keeps herself occupied mostly with sleep and the Disney Channel.
Today she went on another walk in the hall. Her legs got tired easily and her feet started burning and itching. Still she walked. Ashtyn wanted to try eating and drinking. She tried a couple sips of root beer, one nibble of a Milano cookie, one bite of an animal cookie, and considered a sugar baby. It’s not much. Still she ate and drank.
“Today I am grateful for sleep, pain medications, Biotene Mouthwash that keeps my mouth clean, pillows, and soft food.” Ashtyn
Today I am grateful for Canyonview Elementary school, the staff, students, friends, and family members that made the ribbon tying a special and successful event. I am grateful to be a member of Ashtyn’s Army and numbered among the large group of people known already for their faith, hope, love, goodness, tenderness, and positive perspective.