Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fresh Paint


Today is the day! The day I openly share with each of you my wonderful life and how I am grateful for each breath, literally.


For twenty seven years I have hidden a portion of myself away behind the closed doors of doctors appointments, treatments, hospital stays, and fear.  Fear. The fear that the world might see the imperfections and struggles behind the facade I have so carefully tried to paint.  I have always wanted to represent poise, positivity, and strength: never wanting to elude to the battle going on beneath all the paint.  

Today is the day.  I am removing a layer of paint and showing the world what I AM, not what I am not.  Today I show the world how grateful I am for each breath, each beautiful person I know and love, and each opportunity life has to offer.  

Here goes nothing. My big secret? I have Cystic Fibrosis.  
Ok, it's not my only one, but it's the one that wakes me up in the morning! 

What's that? - nothing I can't handle!

"Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

    clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
    obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. The current median life expectancy is 37.4 years."


This blog is for all of you who so selflessly fight for me, for each breath.  This blog is being started in response to the great people in my life who are raising awareness and money for CF.  Thank you will never be enough.  Love to you all.




Today is the day.  What's your paint job trying to hide?



15 comments:

  1. I have always known you as a caring, thoughtful, talented person who breathes life into everything you're a part of. The way you've faced your "paint job" and excelled as a singer will inspire many others to try things they shouldn't be able to do for one reason or another. Brava!

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  2. Ashley, this is absolutely beautiful and powerful! Thank you for sharing a part of yourself--which is never easy to do--while raising awareness about Cystic Fibrosis! This is amazing.

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  3. Ashley - paint or no paint. CF or no CF. Regardless of where we each stand in the fight "against" CF, we will all benefit from you sharing your experiences, thoughts and fears... You never cease to amaze me! Stacy

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  4. Ashley,
    You make me extremely proud to know and love you. Your strenghth is inspiring, I wish you all of the best and pray for you everyday.

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  5. Ashley, congratulations on this milestone in your life. This is an amazing thing you are doing here. wow. Yes! Breathe bravely, walk proudly and carry on with your beautiful life. Margaret

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  6. Ashley, you are a strong, talented, and beautiful person. You have taught me many things in our time together as friends, and you still continue to teach and amaze me. Because of the fearless and kind way you lead your life you taught me how to speak out, not to fear what others think, and that sincerity and honesty are the most beautiful gifts we can share with the world. I am proud to let the world know that you have been a big impact in my life and that I am a better person for having learned from you. I look forward to keep reading about your journey and reflections. Love, Kari (Rasmussen) Lee

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    1. Kari, I was just looking through pictures the other day and stumbled across the day we met at Cheryl's parent's anniversary. Brought such warm and happy memories to me of our friendship. You're friendship is so very special to me. I think of you and Logan often and always hope things are well for you. Sending lots of love out West.

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  7. WOW! Ashley what an amazingly brave step! I'm so happy for you! We are all given different boxes to break out of. You have always made me feel so welcome in your community and are just a blast to hang and sing with. I hope many other people and even more specifically potential singers can see what you've done and what you will do! What an inspiration! XOXO- Zac Colby

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    1. Oh, my dear how I love you! You always bring a smile to my life:D Can't wait until our next rendezvous.

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  8. Your cousin, Gail, was kind enough to share your blog on Facebook. You rock. Just thought you should know. :-)

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  9. Ashley, Ashley, Ashley....it was a baby shower that brought us together. If that wouldn't have happened, there would have been another way I'm sure of it. Thank you for sharing, for inspiring me, for teaching my son how to not only play piano but to worry less about what others think and to make your own music. I am incredibly blessed to know you and I thank God that our worlds collided. We're here for you on this journey...whatever you need. Suzy

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    1. Suzy, your words are truly humbling. I am so happy our paths crossed: my life is better for knowing you and your family. Love to you!

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  10. It is very scary to be open and honest about your journey. It is always frightening to think that others will judge you or think that you are somehow less than others. Clearly, however, you are a strong, brave person. It is very brave to be sharing yourself with the world and, though I don't know you, I am proud of you. :)

    Interestingly, you and I seem to have started our blogs on the same day. I guess we both got tired of hiding what we think and feel and decided to take a chance. If you're interested, my blog is:
    itrytaph.blogspot.com

    All the best,
    joAnne

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  11. Ashley,
    A friend of mine lead me to your blog. I have only read your first post, but I can already tell that your words will be an encouragement to me. I have two young girls (3 years old and 15 months) who both fight cystic fibrosis. Thank you for sharing your story. "Poise, positivity, and strength" - I hope to represent these characteristics for my girls.

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    1. Billie, thank you so much for your response to the blog: it truly means a lot to me!
      Your strength, love, and dedication to your girls is awe inspiring. Your beautiful girls have such a wonderful life ahead of them!!! Wishing you all the very best. -Ashley

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