Ashley’s Story: The start of a long-term documentary project

Squeezing a stress ball shaped like a brain, 23-year-old Ashley Bissel awaits her second of 28 radiation treatments June 29 at the University of Colorado Hospital TomoTherapy Treatment Facility in Lone Tree. © Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Today, the Columbine Courier published the start of a long-term documentary project. About a month ago reporter Emile Hallez Williams and myself set out to document the life of Ashley Bissel. Ashley was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of brain cancer called astroblastoma. In the last 10 years, only 12 cases have been diagnosed. Since her diagnosis, she has had the tumor removed and is now undergoing a series of chemo and radiation therapies to recover. The photos that accompany the story, which you can read here, are from her second radiation therapy treatment. Ashley is a strong person and with the support of her friends and family she should make a full recovery. I want to personally thank them for allowing us to tell her story during such a trying time in their lives. Many more photos and additional stories will be published in our ongoing coverage. You can pick up the Columbine Courier on news stands in Southern Jefferson County or visit us online at Thanks.

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