Ashley Fricks-Gleason was two years ahead of Emily in college but their paths crossed as fellow members of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) athletic family. Ashley played on the CMS softball team and was also a CMS athletic trainer who would help Emily prep for practices and games. Earlier this month, Ashley made an incredible gesture in support of Emily. While the 1,347+ times that Ashley taped Emily’s ankles for volleyball in college offered substantial physical support, her most recent gesture bolstered Emily’s spirits beyond measure.
On August 4th Ashley took part in the “Survivors at the Summit” event held at the Snowbird Mountain Resort in Utah. This was the 16th year of the event benefiting the Cancer Wellness House, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free resources to anyone whose life has been affected by cancer. One facet of the event is the “Hidden Peak Celebration of Life” where anyone living with a history of cancer, their friends and families, and those who have lost a friend or relative to cancer are invited to hike the trail up to Hidden Peak. Ashley hiked 4.5 miles from the base of Snowbird to the top of Hidden Peak (11,000 feet) where she hung a prayer flag at the summit honoring Emily and her current fight against lung cancer.
Emily’s bright yellow flag will remain on top of the mountain flying amongst the flags of hundreds of other incredible people whose lives have been touched by cancer. Ashley also sent Emily the official event t-shirt emblazoned (in perfect CMS colors!) with the motto Stronger Than Cancer. There is no doubt that with the incredible array of support that Emily has received from Ashley and countless others, combined with her top notch clinical team and treatment regimen, and her own mental strength and endurance, Emily is 100% stronger than cancer.