Community members rally behind 7-year-old girl with cancer

Surprise birthday party for Mason girl fighting cancer
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 11:52 PM EDT
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MASON (WXIX) - A local 7-year-old girl whose life was turned upside down a month ago when she had brain surgery got a chance to be a kid again this weekend.

Members of the Mason community welcomed home Ashton Hawkins with surprise birthday celebrations after she was in the hospital battling a cancerous brain tumors.

Ashton turned seven a few weeks ago while she was in the hospital. In support of Ashton, several events were held, including a surprise birthday party at Rivers Crossing Church on Saturday.

“One of the reasons we’re here is because our community has just wrapped us in so much love and support, and this was a huge group effort and people came together and put this together for Ashton and it’s honestly every girl’s dream birthday party,” Ashton’s mother Amanda said.

Ashton has endured a great deal in the last month.

On Aug. 22, doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital discovered a mass on Ashton’s brain, and her surgery was three days later.

She celebrated her 7th birthday on Sept. 2 while she was in the hospital.

Saturday’s birthday party at Rivers Crossing Church in Mason was just one of the many ways people have rallied behind Ashton in support.

Since leaving the hospital last week, Ashton has been honored at a local homecoming parade and before a football game Friday night.

Just a few weeks ago, Ashton was a carefree first grader who loved playing with her baby dolls and sisters.

“Ashton is what we call our ‘mini-mommy,’ Amanda says. “She is always helping with her four sisters. And she takes such good care of them; she loves baby dolls. She has the sweetest, most charismatic loving personality.”

The staff at Children’s also noticed Ashton’s caring spirit.

“One of the things the doctors would notice, when we would come in her hospital room were all the babies that were given to her that she would take care of and change their diapers and clothes every day,” says Ashton’s father, Kurtis Hawkins. “It was nice to see that personality still shine through all of this.”

One of her teachers at South Lebanon Elementary agrees that Ashton is a special little girl.

“I couldn’t have made it through last year without her,” says Emma Schewe of Kings Local Schools. “She was my mini assistant passing out papers. Being a friend to anyone. She would a lot of times choose to sit on the bench with me at recess. She’s so wise beyond her years.”

Ashton’s fight is far from over, as she has to go back to the hospital next week for a second surgery and more treatment.

Her parents say they don’t know what the next week, month, or years look like. That’s why they are so thankful for the birthday party their little girl was given today.

In addition to her surprise a CaringBridge was created so that people can continue to follow Ashton’s story.

Her supporters also donated birthday gifts through her Amazon wishlist.

The community has also raised over $37,000 to support Ashton through a GoFundMe fundraiser. You can also support Ashton Strong at this site.

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