Ashley Nicole Averill
(September 24, 1994 – January 23, 2008)
Ashley began her 7th grade school year like all other students in August 2007. She was excited about her schedule which included clogging, guitar lessons and two art classes in addition to her academic studies. Ashley had a known passion for music and art. She excelled in her artistic ability and in her guitar skills. Everyone knew that her talents were beyond her years as a young teen. Ashley was a beautiful girl from the inner most part of her soul to her outward flawless ivory complexion.
About Her Illness
On October 14, 2007, three weeks after her 13th birthday, Ashley woke up at 5:30 a.m. with flu-like symptoms. Three days later, her parents were advised at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta of her stage IV liver cancer diagnosis with nodules in her lungs.
Ashley’s family was in disbelief because her health profile did not match the disease which had silently invaded her adolescent body. The large tumor on her liver and the smaller tumors in her lungs were known to be chemo-resistant. As parents who sought the best care for their child, we flew with Ashley in November 2007 to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where 65% of her liver was removed. She was scheduled to begin experimental treatment for the lung tumors in Bethesda, Maryland at the National Cancer Institute. The week she was to have gone for her first appointment was spent instead at Children’s Healthcare due to the aggressive nature of a liver tumor which damaged her liver and her kidneys and ultimately caused her death. Ashley’s battle from diagnosis to death was 102 days.
Ashley’s commitment to Jesus Christ at age six was evident to all who knew her and her story. One of her weekly highlights was attending her Wednesday night Bible study at church. She loved her group, her leaders and learning more about God’s Word. During her battle she claimed Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV) Ashley’s 13 years of life have made a profound impact on many lives and she accomplished more in her few years than others who live to old age.
About Her Family
Ashley was the older of two daughters. Her sister Madison is three years younger and a college student. Ashley’s father, John Averill, is a partner with Insurance Office of America. Her mother, Melanie Averill, has been a homemaker since Ashley’s birth in 1994.
Ashley’s family has total peace and assurance of her new Home in Heaven. She is missed by her family beyond measure. We hold on to the hope and assurance of seeing her again. We can rejoice at the glorious reunion awaiting each of us as she is among the cloud of witnesses who will welcome each of us to her Heavenly Home. Ashley’s love for Christ and her faithfulness is a legacy left for many generations.