WEST MICHIGAN — March 12, 2012 was a day that changed the trajectory of Ashley Greenway's life forever. It was the day she was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease.
The young mother tells us it's passed down through genetics and it's similar to Alzheimer's, bipolar disorder, brain cancer, Parkinson's and ALS all in one.
It's a disorder with no known cure and shuts down parts of the brain that controls motor function and emotional responses.
Ashley is in her early thirties and has two young children.
She says it was the day she started putting more focus on her kids, realizing her time with them might be cut short.
Today, there are about 41,000 symptomatic Americans and another 200,000 at risk of inheriting the disease.
It was a hard diagnosis to process, but Ashley is using it as fuel to pay it forward and make a difference.
She even raised $10,000 on her own by collecting pop tabs from the West Michigan community.
Ashley Greenway is sharing her story with others to show them they aren't alone and hopefully inspire people to connect through these events and organizations as well. Unity and support can make all the difference. That sense of optimism and dollars raised may just be the ticket to finding a cure for this disease one day.
Her outlook is powerful and puts life more in perspective for all of us.
Ashley also participates in medical studies for Huntington's Disease and it was during one of those sessions she thought about they way she carries out her life since the diagnosis several years ago.
"What can I do to leave the world a better place when I leave it," Ashley tells us.
She's already made the world a better place and will continue to do so.