Fighting cancer with faith: 12-year-old with leukemia receives strength from strangers' prayers (+video)

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

On Jan. 30, the day Ashtyn was diagnosed with Leukemia, Poulsen wrote the first post on her blog Ashtyn’s Triumph.

Poulsen writes a detailed post almost daily on Ashtyn’s progress to keep friends and family informed.

Ashtyn wrote a personal piece on her mom’s blog called “In Her Own Words.” In the post, she describes what she’s gone through and shares the negative and positive aspects of her experience as a cancer patient.

“Ever since she wrote that blog post, she has not once been negative,” Poulsen said. “She stays positive by not dwelling on it. The other day I was telling her I was sad she was losing her hair, and I asked if she was sad or mad. She started to nod her head, but then quickly shook it and said ‘I cannot think like that.’”

The Poulsen’s have noticed several blessings since Ashtyn was diagnosed.

One blessing occurred Feb. 10, when Vocal Point, a nine-man a capella singing group from Brigham Young University, came to sing at the church service held at the hospital.

During the vocalists rendition of “I Need Thee Every Hour,” Poulsen thought, “Ashtyn has got to hear this.”

Although the nurses are strict about letting more than a few people at a time at Ashtyn’s bedside, the singers visited Ashtyn after the church service and sang to her.

“Those men had sung those songs over and over again, yet they were on the verge of crying,” Poulsen said. “There is always an incredible spirit in Ashtyn’s room. It’s like the temple. If you leave your outside cares outside and come in, there’s a calm feeling in there.”

Every day, no matter how sick Ashtyn is, she feels supported by God and angels.

“Every day we literally feel the prayers from people,” Poulsen said. “I know for a fact every prayer helps her. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if it’s a prayer or just positive vibes from Buddha, that’s how she is going to pull through.”

Megan Marsden is an intern with the Deseret News writing for the Faith & Family section. She is currently a junior at BYU-Idaho studying communication. The views of the writer do not reflect the views of BYU-Idaho.

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