She outlived her doctor’s predictions by several months. But on Saturday, 18-year-old Ashley Aven died after a courageous battle with leukemia.
“Ashley is not suffering anymore. She is resting. We love you Ashley,” her father Bill Aven wrote in the family’s online journal.
In July 2009, Ashley was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare but aggressive blood cancer. This past January her doctors gave her two months to live. She surpassed that by more than five months.
Ashley had an entire community rallying around her. Members of the Meadowdale softball team, as well as rival teams, held several fundraisers to help with the family’s expenses. Even former Mariner Jay Buhner befriended Ashley when he heard about her story. Buhner has a daughter that also plays high school softball. He arranged for Ashley to throw out the first pitch at an M’s game in May.
“If it was not for the softball community’s support I don’t think our family could have kept our heads up this long, but we would have tried like hell,” Ashley’s dad Bill told us at the time.
Earlier this year the Meadowdale Sports Booster Club presented Ashley with the first ever “Ashley Aven Senior of the Year” award. It’s an award that will be given each year in Ashley’s honor.
Memorial information has not yet been announced.
Deepest sympathies to Ashley's family and friends. A flower may have withered but the seed remains. She will not be forgotten.
Bill, your Ohana here in Northern California, are grieving with heavy hearts, for your lose is our Ohana's lose. You & your Ohana are in our thoughts and prayers. Ashley was a fighter and a gamer, she has given strength and inspiration to others that she did not meet. She is an inspiration to all that she's touched and meet and we will carry you in our hearts forever. Rest In Love, Ashley Kealoha Aven. Aloha Nui Loa, Your Ohana forever.
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