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Alex and Ashley Finally Meet

Alex and Ashley Finally Meet

This is Chapter 19 in the on-going story of Pelotonia rider Alex Kip, 23, and his battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Type B) cancer. Click here to read chapter 18.


Ashley Poland was diagnosed with a soft-tissue sarcoma type of cancer on October 26, 2010.

Alex and Ashley had a lot to celebrate when they finally met at Pelotonia on the Patio

It was her 23rd birthday.

Like Alex and many other young adults battling cancer, she was scared – and didn’t know anyone else in her age group with cancer. This is the story of how Ashley and Alex met and helped each other battle cancer.

“One of my mom’s friends knew her dad,” Alex said. “And they thought we should connect.”

And they did, through Facebook and emails, which, by the way, is how young adults connect these days. And, I guess, it’s how us older adults connect as well. They exchanged emails and messages – and encouraged one another, all without ever meeting.

This changed on June 9 during the Pelotonia on the Patio fundraiser. The day before was Ashley’s last chemo treatment at The James.

Ashely was in the midst of her senior year at Ohio State when she was diagnosed, and she decided to leave school while she battled cancer. “I had this pain in my thigh, for two years and thought it was must a pulled muscle,” she said. “But it didn’t go away and this lump kept growing.”

She went in for an X-ray, but nothing showed up. The pain kept getting worse, and finally, a CAT scan revealed the cancerous tumor. Ashley was treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and received her surgery and chemo treatments at The James.

Ashley will return to Ohio State in September to complete her final year, and is now thinking about becoming an oncology nurse.

The same week as Ashely’s final radiation treatment, Alex received the report from his 3-month scans, as in: three months after his final radiation treatment.

And the news was great: all clear, no evidence of cancer anywhere!

So, Alex and Ashely were in a celebrating mood, and emailed back and forth about meeting at Pelotonia on the Patio, along with Alex’s parents, aunt and uncle and girlfriend Kate.

“It’s nice to be able to talk to someone who can relate to what it was like,” Ashley said. “For people our age, it’s really tough. There seem to be more programs and things for children or for older people.”

The two hit it off, and chatted while they sipped sangria.

“It’s just nice to talk,” Alex said. “And we don’t even have to talk about it.”


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