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Ashley Burnette: Making A Difference

Oct 19, 2015

By Luke Edward Hays

On August 27, 2010, Ashley Burnette, from Raleigh, North Carolina, was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma. Later, she developed evidence of PTLD, which stands for, Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder. The cancer took a heavy toll on Ashley and her family.
The Good News Notebook Magazine is  exploring: What was the journey she took to beat two forms of cancer? And, how did Ashley’s experience of surviving two cancers inspire her to work with Hyundai Hope on Wheels?

Hyundai Hope On Wheels

Ashley was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, which is a cancer that comes in many forms, but all forms have one similarity, it usually affects only children five years or under. Ashley is an exception to the five years or under rule, however. She was diagnosed at seven years old. The cancer developed through her immature nerve cells. The treatments began to take a toll on her body and her family. During her 150 nights in her hospital room, she experienced: seven week long rounds of chemotherapy, thirteen surgical procedures, a stem cell transplant, twelve days of external beam radiation, two rounds of MIBG therapy, five weeks in Pediatric ICU for antibodies infusions, numerous ER visits, over fifty blood and platelet transfusions, over hundred and fifty nights at the hospital and an infinite number of pokes. Ashley visited multiple surgeries to rid the cancer. Sadly, during the process Ashley developed a second cancer called, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Her family visited eight different hospitals in five different states. In August 2012, after body scans where conducted, Ashley received the amazing news that all of her cancer was gone.

During the treatments, Ashley was approached and asked if she wanted to be a Patient Ambassador for the NC Children’s Hospital. She now speaks as a national youth ambassador for Hyundai Hope on Wheels. She travels across the United States to spread awareness for cancer. Ashley stated, “I mean, they are going through a lot right now.” Ashley Burnette is an excellent example of being in a difficult situation and turning what could turned out to be a highly negative experience, into an inspiring story. Hyundai Hope on Wheels is a nonprofit organization that raises money for childhood cancer awareness. Since Hyundai Hope On Wheels’ inception in 1998, they would have funded over $100 million dollars, by the end of 2015, for pediatric cancer research.

The Good News Notebook Magazine hopes Ashley’s story inspires other people with different forms of cancer to have the strength to see their way to the end of the tunnel.

Luke Edward Hays is a graduate of Full Sail University
Creative Writing for Entertainment, B.F.A.
luke.writings@gmail.com
www.lehays.wix.com/beyondimagination

References:
Hope On Wheels, H. (2014, April 16). Ashley Burnette, 2014-2015 Hope On Wheels National Youth Ambassador. Retrieved September 29, 2015 from:

News, ABC. (2014, September 5). Child Cancer Survivor Takes Message of Support, Hope for Cure on the Road. Retrieved September 29, 2015 from:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/09/05/child-cancer-survivor-takes-message-of-support-hope-for-cure-on-the-road/

Our Adventures with Ashley. Retrieved September 29, 2015 from: http://ashleyburnette.com/

Waliga, Heather. (2014, September 18). Retrieved September 29, 2015 from: http://abc7chicago.com/health/girl-11-shares-story-of-surviving-2-cancers/313977/

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Fall Gardening – A Quieter Time In The Garden?

Oct 7, 2015

Fall gardening doesn’t have to be the quietest time in the gardeners calendar. This article outlines just some of the activities that you can be keeping busy with in your garden this fall. These include growing vegetable in the fall, planting your spring bulbs and maintaining your lawns.

In the fall as the nights draw in and the days become shorter many people think that a quiet and restful time for the gardener is approaching and that it’s almost time to put the garden tools away in the shed till spring. While this may be true for the lawn mower, there are many other garden tools whose services can still be required during the fall.

For the more serious gardener who wants to continue to grow as late in the season as possible or who wants to optimize his lawn and garden in preparation for next year. There is still much gardening that can be done, both in growing vegetables and preparing and planning your garden for next spring, until well into the fall.

With the constant possibility of early winter frosts many gardeners don’t even consider fall gardening. This is a pity as with the right planning, planting the most suitable plants and at the right time of year, the rewards can be well worth the extra work. As often, for example, vegetables, produced in the fall can be sweeter and tastier than those grown in the height of the summer. This can bring a refreshing new dimension to some of the same old varieties of garden vegetables.

It is important, however, to choose vegetables with a short growing season to give the best chance of harvesting before the more severe frosts do make an appearance. Vegetables that can be ideal to grow well into the fall include carrots, beet, lettuce, broccoli, turnips and radish. They should be planted while the ground is still warm and in a place where they are likely to get a minimum of six hours of sunshine.

Fall is also the best time to plant your spring bulbs, especially the hardy varieties such as crocuses, daffodils, tulips and irises and these will do well in either containers or beds. They will flower in the spring so you can look forward to their colourful displays as an early sign of the arrival of spring, which should be ample reward for your additional work and planning in the fall.

Looking after and maintaining your lawn is another task you can be busy with in the fall to enhance your chances of a luscious lawn next spring. It is an ideal time to concentrate on factors like aeration of the soil and clearing debris accumulated over the summer growing season. You should remove any twigs, stones and fallen leaves from your lawns as these can harbor disease and encourage pests. A leaf blower or garden vacuum will make this task much easier and you should, of course, keep all of the organic material for composting.

Aerating disrupts the soil surface by making holes in the earth. This can be done manually with a garden fork or a number of tools can be used to make the work easier, or if you have a larger area to deal with. This allows more oxygen into the soil and water will also gain easier access, rather than simply running off. Earthworms will thrive better in this environment as well as a number of other beneficial organisms. Fertilizers and other top dressing substances will be more effective after aeration and it makes re-seeding, if necessary, more successful.

These are just a few of the tasks that can be keeping you busy in your garden during the fall. So if you want a beautiful garden in the spring it’s not quite time to lock away those garden tools just yet.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McGuire is a smallholder and gardener who also runs an internet business and has his own garden products and information website.

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