Cancer survivor Ashley Hendrick draws strength from tennis
About a year ago, I wrote a column for
One day, Ashley had the typical teenage concerns -- school, boys, MySpace, a planned trip to the U.S. Open. The next day, her hair started falling out from the first of her 18 chemotherapy sessions. A few weeks into her treatment, doctors informed her that they could reduce the risk of the cancer spreading by amputating her left leg above the knee.
The support was overwhelming. Ashley's teammates visited her in the hospital and prepared meals for the Hendrick family. The family's tennis club, Orchard Hills, held a charity tournament that raised more than $25,000 and included a silent auction with memorobilia donated by
Pitted against Ashley's passion for tennis, the cancer didn't stand a chance. Even confined to a wheelchair, she hit tennis balls. When she was fitted for a prosthetic leg, she had to learn how to "re-walk." After she mastered that, she learned how to "re-hit." After a clean test result, Ashley returned to her high school tennis team for a season before graduating in 2008.
A number of you have asked about Ashley from time to time. I got a recent e-mail from her father,