Ashland community helps celebrate girl’s 16th birthday as she waits for kidney transplant

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ASHLAND, Ohio (WJW)– It only took about 20 minutes out of their day, but it was time spent letting a family know that folks in their community care.

Ashlee Younce went from a teen that enjoyed tap and dance to a person on the transplant list, waiting for a new kidney that will save her life.

Thursday was Ashlee’s 16th birthday. She couldn’t have that sweet 16 party partly because of COVID-19 and her condition makes her tire easily. So, first responders in Ashland County brought the party to her.

With help from a family friend, in just a few days, they were able to get together a parade with more than 25 vehicles from around the county. It’s loud, it’s colorful and right on time.

“This just hit and blew everything up. We weren’t ready for it and my mom lost her job and we had to move, and it was like a barrel of snow; it just kept rolling,” Ashlee said.

Ashlee was diagnosed with Post-Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis, a rare kidney disease that can develop after a strep infection. Ashlee’s kidneys have failed and her mom takes her to dialysis in Akron three to four times a week

Folks in the community wanted her to know that her struggle is theirs and they wish her all the best.

“This makes me feel better knowing that people actually care about what’s going on with me and I’m not alone,” Ashlee said.

Ashlee is on the transplant list and waiting for the day when she gets the call. But until then, a little noise and some bright lights are just what the doctor ordered in a tough year.

“Thank you for everything that you’ve done today and I really, really, really, really, really appreciate it,” Ashlee said.

Ashlee and her family have a fundraising page through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. You can learn more here.

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