Ashleigh Marie Kieliszewski was born July 12, 2001 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was a beautiful, precious baby. Ashleigh was the first born to Jeff and Amy Kieliszewski and the first grandchild on both sides of the family.
On the day of her first birthday, Ashleigh took off walking. She was a very loving, active, energetic child who absolutely adored her friends, family, and her pets. She also loved to climb. In fact, she climbed so much her parents started calling her “Monkey”. The nickname “Monkey” stuck. Often, Ashleigh preferred to be called Monkey, which became “Monk” for short, and included a longer variation “Monkey Butt”. She was referred to as “Monk” and “Monkey” so often, that people often asked, “Who is Monk?’
In April 2004, Ashleigh started limping. After many visits to the doctor, x-rays, and physical therapy, the cause of her limping was still not clear. On June 6th her mother discovered a lump just below her rib cage. Ashleigh went back to the doctor the next day. On June 7th, 2004, one month before her third birthday and four weeks after her baby brother Ryan was born, Ashleigh was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma. She had a four pound tumor that had engulfed her right kidney.
Ashleigh and her family’s life was turned upside down with the devastating diagnosis. Ashleigh began a 21 month courageous battle with this very aggressive childhood cancer. During her treatment she endured several complications including leg fractures, a viral infection during her bone marrow transplant resulting in a long stay in intensive care, and kidney disease. Ashleigh was No Evidence of Disease (NED) for 11 months, only to relapse with the dreadful disease in September 2005. Ashleigh passed away at home while she slept between her parents on March 29, 2006.
In memory and in honor of Ashleigh, her parents, Amy and Jeff Kieliszewski founded Ashleigh Marie Books, LLC in 2006. Based on Ashleigh’s heartfelt words, her mom wrote and published two children’s books; Ashleigh’s Fairies – 2007 Gold Medal Winner in the Moonbeam Children Books Awards and Ashleigh’s Rainbow, illustrated by Ashleigh and many of her friends battling Neuroblastoma. A portion of the proceeds from each book is donated to the Children’s Neuroblastoma Foundation.
To learn more about Ashleigh’s Books please visit:
www.AshleighMarieBooks.com or Ashleigh Marie Books, LLC on Face Book
Ashleigh lived a very loving life. She reminded and taught us about the true meaning of family and life. She brought joy to everyone she met. Her strong spirit and love LIVE forever in our hearts.
To learn more about Ashleigh and her journey, log on to her website: www.caringbridge.org/mi/ashleigh
To know Ashleigh is to love Ashleigh: