Purple Community Blog

24 Mar 2016

Ashley’s Story

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The biggest enemy in the fight against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases is time, and sadly, for many people, they simply run out of it.

At Van Andel Institute researchers are working to speed up the process of discovery through innovation and collaboration in biomedical research. That’s why I am taking an active approach in the fight and supporting Purple Community.

My family has experienced its fair share of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and depression.

Doc1 (003)My grandpa lived with prostate cancer for over 18 years, before succumbing to its relentless spread in January of 1992.

My Aunt Sharon fought and won her battle with breast cancer, and this year was able to celebrate 20 years of being cancer free!

My grandma lived a full life until the age of 92, however she spent the last few years of her life slowly experiencing the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

My sister’s fiancé, David, experienced the unexpected death of his mother a few years ago. After David’s mother died, he went down a path of grief and depression. A year ago this past Thanksgiving, I received a call from my sister. David had died by suicide.

I share my family’s story because I know our story is not an isolated one. Families across West Michigan, around the country, and all over the world are experiencing similar journeys of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and depression.

I want to invite you to consider participating in our Purple Community 5K on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Every dollar raised through this event goes directly to the biomedical research happening at Van Andel Institute. That’s 100% to research and 100% to HOPE. Hope that other families will one day NOT have to face the journey mine and so many others have.

Take the first step. Join the fight today. Run or walk in memory or honor of a friend, family member or loved one, and raise funds to help end cancer and neurodegenerative diseases once and for all.

For more information visit www.purplecommunity.org/5k. See YOU at the finish line.

Ashley
Member of the Purple Community and believer in 100% HOPE