A 24-year old mother, Ashley Bridges, made the ultimate sacrifice for her unborn baby when she denied life-saving chemotherapy treatment for bone cancer. Bone cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancers, and cancer in young adults is extremely rare. In the United States, 2,300 new cases of bone cancer are diagnosed each year.
Bridges was only 10-weeks pregnant with her daughter Paisley when she found out about her diagnosis. Her doctors recommended that she begin chemotherapy immediately. However, in her case, this would mean ending the life of her unborn baby. Bridges said, “There’s no way I could kill a healthy baby because I’m sick.”
During her third trimester, Bridges was told that delaying treatment had allowed the cancer to spread. Even though she was only in her eighth month of pregnancy, she was told she needed to deliver Paisley immediately so she could begin treatment.
But even with multiple rounds of chemotherapy, her cancer was terminal. Bridges was given less than a year to live.
Bridges said, “I felt like I tried so hard to keep Paisley safe and do the minimum [treatment] to keep her healthy. The thought that I’m not going to see her grow up is really hard.” Bridges also has a 6-year old son named Braiden who said, ‘If you pass away, I want to come with you.”
Now, friends and family are helping Bridges take care of 2-month old Paisley during the day. Her fiancé, who is in the military, helps her with their daughter at night.
The young mother has no regrets about denying treatment and choosing her daughter’s life over her own. Bridges said, “Paisley has been their ray of sunshine in a this dark storm.”
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According to Bridges fundraising website, on September 27th she received news that her cancer hasn’t spread to her legs like doctor’s thought it would. Her scans also revealed that the tumors that in her head hadn’t grown. Despite her grim diagnosis, Bridges still has hope and is putting up a good fight.
Watch the inspiring video below.