Our Personal Journey: Ashley
Our daughter Ashley is a Miracle Child from Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
In January of 1987 at the age of four, Ashley was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, a disease that if left untreated causes inflammation of the body's major muscles including vital organs that can be fatal.
When your daughter looks into your eyes with tears and says, "Daddy, I can't walk up the steps," your own heart drops, your adrenaline surges, and your mind races. You become very frightened because you are clueless as to how to help make the pain go away and bring back smiles and laughter. The devastation is unimaginable for any parent when your child has a disease and the thoughts of the unknown are endless. Uneducated, but armed with determination, we learned how fatal this disease can be if left untreated.
For us, we were fortunate to meet an angel named Dr. Arthur Newman at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital who never thought twice about what to do. Our gratitude goes out to Arthur for saving our daughter's life and never second guessing what action to take. We were truly blessed.
Every January since that time, I ask Ashley, "Is everything OK, dear"? And the response has always been the same since then, "I'm good Dad, thanks for asking." Even now, when I look into her eyes I see no pain, I see no discomfort, and I see no indication that the disease has awakened. But, there's fear that one day it just may. Fear that it will creep back in and steal daddy's little girl forever.
Child Life was there for Ashley. Their support, their caring hearts, their kind words, and their love for her, for us, and for all they come into contact with everyday, never stopped then or today.