Ashley Denslow Is a 17-year-old in Florida who is also the vice president at her local FFA chapter. She loves showing animals, and likes talking about having shown rabbits, pigs, chickens, & steer. However, in September of last year, Denslow learned she had lupus. Lupus is a potentially fatal disease that affects the autoimmune system. Having been in top health prior to that, Denslow’s mother says they almost lost her on four different occasions.
It was Ashley’s intention this year to go to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville this year for the National FFA Convention & Expo. Some days she feels great, but most days she does not feel like herself at all. With a daily regimen of pills & shots, she tires easily and has trouble keeping up with those around her. However, a blood clot almost canceled the trip for her.
This is where The Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in, and offered her the trip. It was no surprise that this was her wish. According to Ashley, “I had to have something in FFA, because that’s my entire life. That’s all I do after school and on the weekends.” Ashley’s mother knew her daughter had made the right choice for her wish.
When she got there, she felt a little intimidated about the attention she was receiving and having people look at her. But that didn’t last long. The Foundation had given her $1600 in spending money in addition to several personalized gifts from vendors at the Expo.
After Ashley was diagnosed, she began to volunteer at a hospital for children. Even though she still adores the FFA, she would now rather be a doctor specializing in children with lupus. She feels she has a better understanding than most of what lupus patients go through.