Family Stories



For as long as I could remember I always wanted and dreamed of being a mom to a lot of children; even in high school. I think I was the only student in my early childhood education classes to be very excited about taking home the practice baby doll. After high school, I continued my education in early childhood and worked at a childcare facility in the infant room. I worked there for 13 years before accepting my current nanny position for a family with four children.

In 2009, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, at which time we found out that she was a carrier for the BRCA I gene. I got tested in 2015 and I too had a positive test result for the BRCA I mutation. I decided to do a preventative bilateral mastectomy in 2017 after several nerve-racking biopsies were performed.

That was the first piece of the puzzle in my preventative care plan, the second piece will focus on the removal of my ovaries and possibly other reproductive organs. My doctor said she would like to start that conversation sometime around the age of 40. I will be turning 36 at the beginning of October and feel like my time is running out, especially because I am single and haven't found "the one" to settle down and start a family with. I love and enjoy working with children so much that I am 100% willing and prepared to be a single Mom.

I am so thankful and grateful for this grant because I am only one person. The financial piece solely falls on me. Even with the BRCA I mutation, my insurance company will not cover any cost due to not meeting their criteria. A huge thank you to the Chicago Coalition for Family Building for helping me get one step closer to my dream!

Ashley is the recipient of the Magnolia Tree Grant. At the beginning of 2024, Ashley welcomed her beautiful daughter into the world!

When we found out that the next step was IVF, we thought our dreams were shattered