© 2019 by Ashley Smith & Milagro Midwestern Spa Collective

  • Ashley

What happens sometimes.

Sometimes you get a cancer diagnosis. And sometimes the end of your treatment is serendipitously timed to coincide with an inspiring event like Light the Night.


So you show up at Light the Night for the first time, accompanied by friends, family, and a wheelchair (just in case), since you’ve literally just completed your 25th of 25 radiations treatments that followed six rounds of chemo. But the energy of the crowd and the support from your circle means you complete the course easily, without even a second thought.

And then sometimes, you’re five years past cancer. You’ve opened your own spa so you’re invited to provide massage to survivors in The Survivors’ Tent at Light the Night.


And as you’re driving in and setting up, greeting the walkers and meeting the survivors, your mind is swimming. You can’t believe what can happen in five years. And you’re watching your massage therapists, whom you didn’t even know five years ago, show so much authentic compassion and care to the survivors and their families that you can’t help but swell with pride. And you chat with these survivors, some of whom have recently earned that title, some of whom earned it years ago and some of whom are still fighting for that title — and you hear the varying degrees of hope in their voices.


And then when you share your story, and tell them that you share that title, you get to enjoy that moment of surprise on their faces followed by a small but noticeable increase in their level of hope. There is life after cancer. And it can be really amazing.

And then you go home so incredibly grateful for the life you’ve been given, major road bumps and all.