16-year-old Ashley, known for her playful sense of humor and love of dancing, was dealt a huge blow when she was diagnosed with a Diffuse Midline Glioma, an aggressive brain tumor. Her family – a particularly close knit set of five siblings and two remarkable parents – were shocked with the diagnosis and a daunting prognosis. Despite her medical condition, this strong young woman stayed in school throughout treatment and was enthusiastically completing a career unit, learning about various law enforcement career options that aligned to her goal of becoming a detective.
Just five weeks ago, Wishes & More received the Wish Application for Ashley and immediately got to work to create an extraordinary experience. During the process, we learned from Ashley’s school that she’d researched the Secret Service and local law enforcement, and work was underway to see about aligning Ashley’s career dreams with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, while we were organizing her full Wish experience. Her primary wish was to take her family to visit relatives in California and have them show her the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood sign, and Disneyland. They’d told her about the L.A. county fair, which occurs in May, so she’d set her sights on traveling at that time. We were all in for the May dates until her doctor recommended the trip be made sooner. We quickly adjusted for her wish trip to depart on April 13th; however, shortly before her expected departure, her medical condition deteriorated, and the trip was cancelled. We talked with Ashley about other options, but it wasn’t meant to be – she was too weak to travel and, in fact, too sick to experience any other wish.
On April 16th, Ashley passed and her family became recipients of our memorial fund program. However, we have found over the years that Wishes & More truly has a blessed ability to fulfill many dreams – and Ashley’s story includes some of that magic.
While she wasn’t able to make the trip, the FBI Minneapolis division field office joined forces with Wishes & More and Ashley’s school to provide one of the most interactive and extraordinary days imaginable for this young lady. They allowed her to become an FBI “Extra Special Agent” for the day and experience everything from forensic crime-solving to a surveillance mission and a full force SWAT apprehension take-down! Enjoy these photos of her in action, just days before she passed, when every FBI squad participated in an amazing afternoon to show her the ins of their work while showering her with encouragement and support. You’ll also see two photos that our Wishes & More staff person took while at Ashley’s home, which are prominently displayed on the living room wall. One is of a beaming, gorgeous Ashley in her Quinceanera dress, and the other is a photo taken with FBI Special Agent in Charge, Michael Paul, in a frame, and a matted outpouring of FBI employee wishes and signatures. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl during her most memorable moments.
Because we were not able to fulfill her full wish, Ashley’s family benefited from our Memorial program and we sent them our $1,000 Memorial gift. We are also incredibly thankful that we were able to support Ashley with one of our unique “MORE” opportunities before she passed. We thank the FBI for not only being a respectable, and highly regarded agency for their day-to-day responsibilities, but for also showing their compassion for our mission and one very special young lady.