Ashley May Miklas was beginning her last year of university with exciting plans for the future when her life took an unexpected turn. At 21 years old in the fall of 2017, she was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer that changed her life forever. Ashley confronted her diagnosis with courage and grace, remaining strong with the support of her mother Holly, father Paul, and two older brothers, Adam and Matthew.
She was determined to live and be the first patient to beat this deadly cancer.
Despite how hard Ashley fought for 10 long months, she passed away on September 18th, 2018 – just one month after her 22nd birthday.
Ashley was a phenomenal young woman and a wonderful true friend. She had a joyful laugh and a beautiful sincere smile. She was adored by everyone and for those who loved Ashley, their lives will never be the same.
Ashley had an incredible team of doctors, all on the frontlines globally of cancer research and care – all determined to provide the most current treatment options available to Ashley.
Dr. Lillian Siu was the first to break the news of Ashley’s cancer diagnosis. Ashley’s tumour was a high-grade epithelioid sarcoma, incredibly rare and notoriously aggressive, and sadly often striking young people in their prime of the lives.
Dr. Siu sent Ashley to Dr. Albiruni Abdul Razak in the Sarcoma Clinic. Ashley’s sarcoma was so extremely rare there were only a few treatments available. Dr. Razak proposed that Ashley participate in the Clinical Trials Program at The Princess Margaret.
As someone who was always motivated to help others, the clinical trials gave Ashley hope. “I don’t want anyone else to hear the words, ‘there is no cure.’”
Unfortunately, the treatments couldn’t control Ashley’s aggressive cancer and her tumours continued to grow and spread. Ashley's participation in the clinical trials added to what researchers know about sarcomas today and how to treat them.
Ashley passed away a month after her birthday – she was 22 years old. Despite everything she endured, Ashley was confident and grateful to receive the best possible care in her own city. Ashley’s participation in clinical trials and sense of altruism is her lasting legacy that has added to what researchers know today about sarcomas.
Our hope is that sharing her story will raise the vital funds needed for more research and better treatments for all cancer patients. That’s why the Miklas' family is dedicating their Dove to Ashley this year – and every year.
Each Dove represents a single story – a single life touched by cancer. Together, they represent our collective hope – our shared determination – that we will Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime.
Your gift to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation will give another family hope and the very best care in the face of cancer.