Colon cancer is normally thought of as a man's disease, but that's not the case at all because it equally attacks the same number of women as it does men.
Aggie, Ashley Marshall knows what it's like to fight colon cancer because she was diagnosed with the disease when she was 21 years old.
About her diagnosis Marshall says, "My dad had colon cancer so the idea of colon cancer was always there…it was gonna come up later in our health lives…my brother, my sister and I. We were going to have to deal with it later, but at 21 that was pretty shocking. The way we found out about it was a freak accident. I ended up going to the hospital for stomach pains and then they came back and they said that I had colon cancer and I was thinking, I'm 21...you're suppose to be 50 and I'm a female and usually it's males with the most common occurrences."
Once diagnosed, Ashley simply decided she was going to have to deal with the cancer and not let it beat her.
Dr. Erin Fleener, Oncologist, "Oh, Ashley's got to be one of the most resilient people that any of us in the office have ever met. I tell her all the time that she has no idea how she affects people. We have a fairly decent size chemotherapy area with a lot of chairs and so patients sort of get to know each other back there and y they sort of banter and they learn a little from each other and it's a small support group ion some ways and Ashley's attitude and her spirit…she has no idea how it effects people that don't even know here, they just see her and they think well someone that young can have that kind of an attitude and get through it with such a smile on her face, I certainly can do this if this what my calling was."
"Each day isn't guaranteed and to take it and make the best of each day really makes you take life and say wow. Even though I had a flat tire on the way to work, even though my hair didn't do what I needed it to do…what ever happened that wasn't going right, just look at it and say at least I had this day," says Marshall.
Ashley's outlook on her life and everything that she had to deal with was and experience she shared with her friends.
Longtime friend, Jessica Channing says, "I just have so much admiration for her because she can at such a young age take something that's suppose to be this life altering illness and make it life altering, but in an incredible way."
Ashley's determination was also what made her a special patient, "I wasn't going to let cancer change who I was and I wasn't gonna let it stop me…I'm too stubborn for that. I'm not in control of my life. God is in control of my life and I don't know what he's going to bring tomorrow and I didn't know yesterday what he was going to bring today and I never know."
But Ashley does know that with her strong network of supportive family and friends, she was able to battle her cancer surrounded by those who love her.