Ashley was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disorder- Complex III when she was only three years old. Mitochondrial Disorder- Complex III is a severe and very rare form of muscular dystrophy. It affects all of the muscles, organs, and nerves in the body and has caused Ashley to have substantial muscle and nerve damage in her extremities. She suffered a stroke last September and had pneumonia in October. Ashley’s lung capacity is at less than 15% and is on oxygen and a BiPap machine. This disorder is causing Ashley’s muscles to harden and she must be fed through a G-tube.
Ashley arrived at the 1st Mariner Arena with her gifts for Martina McBride, her favorite singer, which included a photo album of Ashley’s life and interests. When the meeting arrived, Ashley could not get the smile off her face. She gave Martina a huge hug and showed her the album that she made. Ashley and the singer spent time talking about singing, school, and hobbies. Then Ashley asked Martina to sing “Concrete Angel” for her. Martina more than obliged, giving Ashley a private concert and encouraging her to sing along. Ashley did not hesitate in singing with her hero. She belted out each word of the song grinning from ear to ear. After the meeting, Ashley and her family sat down to watch the show. Alan Jackson came over to our side of the stage and threw Ashley his guitar pick, and Martina even blew her a kiss from the stage! Ashley sang the words to every song and her parents danced the night away with tears of happiness in their eyes.
Sadly enough, Ashley passed away soon after her wish was granted. “She told me that she was happy and at peace because her wishes had been fulfilled,” said Ashley’s mom. “It was the happiest day of her life.”