Young Girl Braves Disease | VideoMichelle San Miguel | 4/25/2012
Ashley is happy to be back in class, even if there`s only a month left of school. It`s been a trying couple of months. Her bouts of pneumonia have led her to the hospital three times this year.
"She does tend to get pneumonia quite easily because it does settle in her lungs and causes the pneumonia," said her mother Lynette Wohl.
Shortly after Ashley was born, she was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. Over time, the disease causes muscles to deteriorate and weaken making it difficult for Ashley to cough.
Twice a week, Ashley meets with a therapist to work on her strength and balance.
"She doesn`t have a lot of strength in her shoulders or her hips or her knees. We do a little bit of stretching sometimes," said her therapist Judy Bahe.
While the rest of her class is in the gym, Ashley occassionally has to step outside of class to work one-on-one with a physical therapist. Ashley initially comes across as timid, but once you get to know her you realize she`s a pretty silly nine-year-old.
"She has a wonderful sense of humor. She`s very witty and is a lot of fun to be around," Lynette said.
The money raised at the Great American Bike Race has helped Ashley`s family with a number of things, including her wheelchair, her cough assist machine and her bath chair. While her family won`t be riding this year, they`ll be at the race cheering on hundreds of riders who are there to support kids like Ashley.
We`ll be broadcasting live from the Great American Bike Race this Saturday from Noon to 1:00.
If you`d like to put a team together for the race, it`s not too late. Call the Medcenter One Foundation at 701-323-8450.