Cancer Survivor Becomes Ambassador for Hope

Hi! My name is Ashley Burnette. I live in Raleigh, N.C., I am 11 years old and I’m in the 6th grade. I am proud to say that I am a cancer survivor. On August 27th of 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma and later was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I went through many battles that have led to me being able to say that I am CANCER FREE, but that isn’t a short story to tell. I have gone through a lot to gain that title and I realize it’s a blessing that I’m able to hold that title. My goal in life is to be someone that will make a difference in this world and someone that will be remembered for doing so. I hope to be a role model for many kids battling cancer and to encourage all of them to keep fighting.

When I was going through treatment, I was asked to be a Patient Ambassador for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and I was able to share stories from my journey with lots of people. In 2014, I was chosen to be the 2014-2015 National Youth Ambassador for Hyundai Hope On Wheels, which is one of the leading funders for pediatric cancer research in the U.S. As their ambassador, I get to travel around the country to lots of children’s hospitals and share my message of hope to other kids and families battling cancer. I really enjoy public speaking and hope that when other kids see how I fought a hard battle and made it through, that they too will never give up!

During my treatment, I made lots of friends who were also battling cancer. Unfortunately more than half of those friends didn’t survive. No kid should have to go through the pain of losing one of their best friends to cancer. I felt like I lost a piece of myself when each of them passed. THEY are the reason I need to do all I can to help find a cure for this horrible disease! My hope is that in my lifetime, no other parent will have to hear the words, “Your child has cancer.” My plan is to do all I can to bring awareness to childhood cancer and to help raise money for research so we can end childhood cancer FOREVER!!!

Love, Ashley Burnette