June 3, 2014 – January 2, 2021
Ashlynn was born June 3, 2014, in Peoria, to Nicholas David and Michelle Renee (Anderson) Blacklaw. She attended Grand Ridge Grade School and enjoyed racing dirt bikes, dancing, and music. She was active in IVGA Gymnastics in Ottawa.
To have known Ashlynn was to love her. She had a huge personality for such a tiny, little girl. She was enthusiastic, smart and was a force to be reckoned with when she set her mind to something. She was an adventurer who enjoyed nature and loved to explore barefoot. She adored listening to music, dancing, and singing to her favorite songs. She lived on her electric scooter. She loved meeting every princess at Disney and swimming, whether it was at the pool or beach. Still, spending time with her family and friends always gave her the greatest joy. She was the happiest of little girls with the most contagious smile and giggle.
In October of 2020, the Blacklaw family enjoyed a wonderful Halloween weekend with Ashlynn and her sister Addie. But just a few days later, 6 year old Ashlynn woke up unable to use her right side and was having difficulty talking and swallowing. After an immediate visit to the ER, Ashlynn was flown to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago for further testing. In the torturous days that followed, the family discovered the devastating news that Ashlynn had DIPG.
“She was in the advanced stage. We were devastated, the hospital gave us weeks but she was a fighter. She was unable to speak but communicated using some sign language, thumbs up and sticking her tongue out playfully, her personality shining through,” said Ashlynn’s dad Nick.
Ashlynn was able to spend her last Christmas with her family before passing away on January 2, 2021. Her family continues to honor her memory by sharing her story in an effort to raise awareness for the horrible disease that robbed them of their beautiful little girl.