05/16/1972 — 03/15/2013
Ashley began tanning in high school in the tanning beds and was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 33. In 2003, a tiny lesion appeared on Ashley’s right buttock. It was removed in 2005, and the result of the pathology was negative. Within a year, the lesion reappeared. This time the biopsy report was melanoma. Immediately she had a larger biopsy and a lymph node dissection in her right groin. The sentinel node proved positive. One month later, she had another surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible, removing more tissue and lymph nodes in her groin. She was treated with Interferon.
For 3 years she tested negative for melanoma, but on Thanksgiving 2009, she felt a lump on her right hip that tested positive for melanoma. In 2010, she started clinical trial drug studies; MDX, Yervoy, and OncoVex. In January 2011, cancer was in lymph nodes in both sides of her groin, upper back, liver, and lungs. She was treated with MEK/BRAF inhibitor and gamma knife surgery when melanoma attacked the brain. Since these lesions died from the surgery, she began a treatment of high-dose Interleukin 2.
Three months afterwards, on March 15, 2013, she passed away at the age of 40. Her story about the danger of tanning beds can be viewed at www.king.5.com/health/Young-woman-with-skin-cancer. With half her face paralyzed, she told her story to King 5 News in Seattle, WA, about these dangers saying, “If there’s one person’s life that I can affect, then that’s a beautiful gift I could give to someone ’cause I don’t want them to end up like me at all. It’s just not worth it. I can’t express that enough. It’s just not worth it.” Her brave testimony has already helped friends and strangers to stop tanning in the tanning beds and to get their skin checked regularly. Her story was recently given at a junior high school to help these young ladies say no to tanning in the tanning beds.
She has a multitude of fans who call her “my HERO,” and she is that indeed!
Karen Trenner, mother
Ashley was the most vibrant, loving, and heartfelt ladies I have ever met. I met her back in 1995 or 1996, and we instantly became friends. When she greeted you, it was always “Hi honey!!” She loved and cared for every one of her friends, and man, she had a lot of them. Ashley was diagnosed 7 years ago and fought so hard in every way possible. Up until her last few days, she was still just as beautiful and loving as ever, always asking about you and what was going on in your life. Ashley will be missed by all her friends and family but will forever live in our hearts. To have Ashley as a friend was truly a blessing!!
Cami Mahan, friend