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Teen's cancer battle reminds us how lucky we are

Dianne and Edward Hasselbach with a photo of their niece Ashleigh Collins who is battling the rare Ewing's sarcoma and has endured 10 rounds of chemotherapy, 55 doses of radiotherapy, a hemipelvectomy operation to remove the pelvis to radiate it and a stem cell transplant.
Dianne and Edward Hasselbach with a photo of their niece Ashleigh Collins who is battling the rare Ewing's sarcoma and has endured 10 rounds of chemotherapy, 55 doses of radiotherapy, a hemipelvectomy operation to remove the pelvis to radiate it and a stem cell transplant. Hayden Johnson

EDITORIAL: I was graciously welcomed into the Tinana home of Dianne and Edward Hasselbach on Saturday to photograph their high tea.

Although the occasion was happy and cheerful, the cause wasn't.

Dianne organised more than 50 people to attend to raise money for her niece Ashleigh, who is battling cancer (story and photos page 7).

She pulls out a photo of Ashleigh and it strikes me instantly.

In a black frame is a photo of a pretty and seemingly happy young woman.

But under the skin there's more to her.

She continues to fight the non-discriminatory cancer but is running out of treatment options.

Dianne started sobbing as she read out Ashleigh's heartbreaking story and I couldn't help but think: this young woman and I are both 19 years old - still teenagers.

A photo of her 18th birthday completes the picture.

Ashleigh spent the day she should have been celebrating the beginning of her adult life in a hospital room.

Balloons surrounded the incredibly sick girl in the photo.

Why has her life begun like this?

Sometimes we forget how lucky we are.

From me, and the Fraser Coast, keep up the good fight and get well soon, Ash.

Topics:  cancer editorial fundraiser hayden johnson maryborough teen tinana



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