Monday, November 26, 2001

Neal White, Editor

   Ashley O'Rear, the courageous young lady who touched the lives of so many, passed away Saturday afternoon at her home in Waxahachie surrounded by her family.
   She was 14 years old.
   We will remember Ashley for her courage and unwavering passion for life as she battled cancer head-on, refusing to let the disease prevent her from following her dreams.
   We will remember her for being an inspiration to millions who have followed her triumphs and setbacks through news accounts, Website postings and prayer circles around the world.
   I will remember her as the bright-eyed girl who loved to travel and explore, and for possessing an inner strength that always allowed her to rise above hardships that seemed unbearable to most of us.
   She was my friend and I will miss her dearly.
   I will miss our talks - especially those about traveling and exploring new cities. To Ashley, the world was a wonderful gift from God and she took great joy in seeing as much of it as her brief life permitted.
   Every day was a blessing for her.
   She took the good with the bad, but always managed to find the good.
   She never complained and she despised pity.
   That wasn't Ashley's style.
   She wanted people to accept her for who she was, not because of the disease that had inconvenienced her life.
   Even after radiation and chemotherapy treatments following her first brain tumor in 1997, she refused to wear a wig to cover her nearly bald

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