Fillmore, IL – Ashton is a spirited and bubbly teenager who steals the heart of everyone who meets her. This special 15-year-old can usually be found talking to her friends on the phone, playing Ping Pong on the computer or watching her favorite show, Hannah Montana, on T.V. Ashton loves the movie, The Notebook and enjoys eating out at The Melting Pot.
In August of 2000, Ashton was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery to resection the tumor. Since then, Ashton’s doctors have been watching her closely and have noticed that recently the tumor has been growing again. She had another surgery last summer and in October began chemotherapy treatments. In addition, Ashton may need radiation.
Ashton recently enjoyed a very special break away from her worries for a while thanks to her friends at Kids Wish Network, an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Her mother, Linda, learned about the charity on the Internet and submitted Ashton’s name in hopes that her brave daughter might qualify for a wish.
Once Ashton was approved for a wish, she had to decide what she wanted to do. It wasn’t a tough choice: Ashton wanted to go to Hawaii. Her Kids Wish Network Wish Coordinator, Jill, got right to work. She took care of all of the details including airfare, hotel accomodations, exciting activities in the area and even more.
Soon after arriving in beautiful Honolulu, Ashton and Linda checked into the breathtaking Sheraton Waikiki. “It was very nice,” said Linda. “We had an ocean view room!” However, with an itinerary full of things to do, the two would spend little time there.
Jill had no shortage of things planned for Ashton including a visit to Hilo for an exciting volcano tour. Ashton also got to go surfing in the sparkling Pacific and later enjoyed a leisurely horseback ride through the Ko’olau Mountains.
Ashton later visited the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Linda said it was an incredibly moving experience. “It was wonderful. It was definitely something everyone should go to at least once in their life.” After the tour, which was guided by a survivor of the attack at Pearl Harbor, Ashton was asked to drive the ferry back to the island.
On yet another day, Ashton went snorkeling. Linda said she was a natural. “She jumped right in and went to town!” Ashton also enjoyed a wonderful feast at her very first traditional Hawaiian luau. “That was really neat,” recalled Linda.
Ashton had the time of her life on her exciting adventure to the Aloha State and brought home with her plenty of pictures and wonderful memories. Linda said the entire experience was incredibly special. “It was just fabulous. It was a dream come true for her!” She was also grateful to Jill and Kids Wish Network. “Jill was great. I really can’t say enough about everything. It’s something we’ll never forget!”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for helping to make Ashton’s wish extra special: Atlantis Seafood & Steak, Beach Activities of Maui, Cheesecake Factory, Dollar Rent A Car, Germaine’s Luau, Gunstock Ranch, Hans Hedermann Surf School, Honolulu Lei Greetings, King Parson Enterprises, Pearl Harbor Memorial, Polynesian Adventure Tours, Sheraton Waikiki, Superpark-St. Louis Airport, Top of Waikiki and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. Kids Wish Network would also like to thank some local sponsors for helping to send Ashton to Hawaii they are: Witt Lions Club, Wal-Mart Store #460, Vandalia Lions Club and Northwest Optimist Youth Fund.