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May 7, 2014

Ashlee's Story: "Fighting to get better is a part

Ashlee Jensen
Ashlee Jensen

Please meet Ashlee Jensen.

In February 2013, Ashlee was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  At age 19, the odds in receiving such a diagnosis was one in three million.

Just a few months prior, Ashlee was unusually fatigued and noticed lumps in her neck. As time passed, she started feeling itchy and irritated, and attributed the change to the weather. But when the lumps in her neck spread and increased in size her dad insisted Ashlee call the doctor.

After a misdiagnosis of mononucleosis and strep throat, she visited an ear, nose and throat specialist. And upon seeing hundreds of swollen lymph nodes in her neck, the doctor referred Ashlee to Cancer Care Northwest in Spokane, Washington. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Ashlee was now being treated for what is one of the rarest cancers for someone her age.

Regardless of losing her hair, her job and not being able to attend school, Ashlee was willing to do whatever it took to get rid of the cancer. After enduring chemotherapy every three weeks, three times a day for six months, her cancer showed no sign of remission. As a precaution however, her doctors collected and froze her stem cells with the possibility of using them as part of a future therapy.

A quick update from Ashlee: “It has been crazy crazy! My cancer is progressing and not responding to treatments! I will once again be starting a new chemotherapy regimen because in order to be a candidate for a bone marrow transplant, I need to be in a slight remission. I’m just hoping something will work for me.”

“I began to appreciate every moment I had and wouldn’t change my life for anything. Fighting to get better has just become a part of me now. I still want to be the young teen I’m supposed to be”, says Ashlee.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a blood cancer, please contact our Information Resource Center at 1-800-955-4572.

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Project Leader

Kristin Hoose

Communications Manager
White Plains, New York United States

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