Teachers ban together to help coworker who is battling cancer

By Steve Garagiola, Local 4 Anchor/Reporter, @SteveGaragiola
Published On: Jun 18 2013 04:02:35 PM EDT
Michael Ashley
REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

Michael Ashley is a 7th-grade social studies teacher at Michigan Technical Academy in Redford Township.

He is battling a devastating cancer.

Diagnosed at the age of 16 with synovial cell sarcoma, Michael had his right arm amputated.

After an intense year of chemotherapy he was declared cancer free for the next 19 years.

In July of 2011, 14 days after the birth of his beautiful daughter, Emma, Michael found himself in surgery having his left lung removed due to a tumor rupture.

This lead to six weeks of intense chemotherapy and a clean bill of health until the following year.

In June 2012, the tumor grew back and this time there was a second tumor in the left lung cavity under his heart.

Now, almost a year later, after trying numerous new drugs and not responding to them, Michael’s tumor is in an aggressive state and causing him pain beyond anything any of us could conceive.

Currently, he is seeking acceptance to a clinical trial in Bethesda, Maryland. His oncologist refers to this as “The Miracle He Has Been Waiting For.” But, his family needs help covering their medical expenses.

He has not worked much of this school year and his wife is out of paid time off due to all the time needed to care for her husband. Then there’s the everyday expenses they need to keep up with like food, gas to and from the hospital and doctor visits, child care for their young daughter -- and I’m sure you all know the rest.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so here.

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