By NEAL WHITE
Daily Light Editor
Cuddled up on the sofa, Ashley O'Rear pulls
the blanket up around her shoulders and puts her arm around her favorite
Fighting the fatigue -- a side effect of
the chemotherapy medicine -- the Waxahachie High School freshman struggles
to stay awake, opening her eyes every few seconds just to let you know
that she's still listening to every word being said.
"I'm not asleep!" she calls out,
opening her eyes and flashing that patented smile that defies her four-year
war on cancer -- a battle Ashley thought she had won.
"I'm just resting," she adds,
as her father Paul begins to laugh.
Since first being diagnosed with a malignant
brain tumor in March 1997, Ashley, now 14, has served as an inspiration
to literally thousands of people around the world. Despite brain surgery,
weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment,