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Cancer survivor says Upstate saved her life

A 12-year-old Fulton girl says cancer treatment at Upstate saved her life. Ashley Carbonaro was diagnosed with cancer in December 2011. Hours of cancer treatments turned into days, weeks, and then months.
Fulton (WSYR-TV) -- A 12-year-old Fulton girl says cancer treatment at Upstate saved her life.

Ashley Carbonaro was diagnosed with cancer in December 2011. Hours of cancer treatments turned into days, weeks, and then months for Carbonaro.

Carbonaro says she wanted to stay strong for her parents.

“Inside I felt like this can’t be happening, but outside I wanted to be strong because my mom and dad were having a hard time with all of this,” Carbonaro said.

“The thought of having to bury your child and thinking how did this happen and they didn’t do anything to deserve this, I’d rather take their place and how can you take their place,” Carbonaro’s dad John told NewsChannel 9.

Chemotherapy took its toll on Carbonaro, stripping her of her hair, energy and the sense of normalcy she once knew.

“I couldn’t help but cry because you’re scared and there’s nothing else that can stop that fear from overcoming you,” John Carbonaro said.

After five rounds of treatment, and several trips to the hospital, Ashley was cancer-free.

“To go from not knowing if you’re going to have another hour with your child, to having the rest of our lives to enjoy each other, there is no word that describes that,” John continued.

Ashley supports system spans across the state and she even had a group of friends and family that shaved their heads until her hair grew back. She’s now looking forward to the day where she can give back, sharing her story of survival as a child life specialist.

“I think I would be good at it because I have my own experience about what I've been through and to tell them it really doesn't hurt,” Ashley said.

Ashley says she feeling happy and healthy now that she’s in remission.

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