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Meet the family who is clinging to a Carrie Underwood anthem for hope Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Never, ever underestimate the power of music to heal and give hope.

In the case of one precious lady, it’s Carrie Underwood’s powerful and inspiring anthem “Jesus Take The Wheel” that keeps her motivated during her devastating health battle.

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Twenty-four year old Ashley Mayer is one brave and incredible woman. For half of her life — since she was 12 years old — Ashley has been in kidney failure. It’s a heartbreaking and unfair situation, and would make it hard for anyone to remain positive … but not Ashley.

She and her father are fighting for her future and her life, as their local newspaper in Medford, Oregon, the Mail Tribune, reports in its Feb. 12 story about the family’s plight.

Ashley needs a kidney transplant, a procedure that will cost the family at least $10,000, a fundraising goal set by transplant officials who require patients to prove they can cover transplant-related costs such as pricey anti-rejection medication. To raise the money she needs for the procedure, she and her father David have been collecting bottles and cans from streets and even trash cans, and exchange them at a local bottle return facility, where each container nets them 10 cents. To date, their collection efforts have brought in just over $7,000.

But this isn’t all—the two work full-time, him as a lot attendant a Volkswagen dealership and her at a Del Taco. For four hours three evenings a week, Ashley receives dialysis treatment.

Ashley’s current status on her case is “critical,” according to the newspaper, but she’s off the transplant list until she raises enough money.

Her father told the Mail Tribune, “My daughter’s group of 40 people that are waiting for transplants, basically, they were taken off the list until they have the money. Some are in wheelchairs, Some are elderly. It’s really, really sad.”

Ashley is heartbroken to see her father so worried, telling the paper, “A lot of people talk about getting to travel and go do stuff. I can’t go anywhere. I have to stay close for dialysis, so it puts your life on hold. The hardest part is probably having to see my dad so worried.”

There was one trip Ashley did get to take and it changed her life. She was granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a teenager. She asked to meet Carrie Underwood, and was flown to California where the singer performed and dedicated “Jesus Take The Wheel” to Ashley.

It’s a moment she and her father will never forget.

“Since then, every time we hear that song it brings back tears, but it also brings back hope,” her father told the newspaper.

Kristin Ball a fundraising consultant for the National Foundation for Transplants, a Tennessee-based organization that helps transplant patients with fundraising, told the Mail Tribune that David and Ashley are, “a really incredible family, and I’m excited to see that people are so interested in Ashley. They’ve been through a lot, so it’s really nice to see people come together for them.”

A page has been created at the National Foundation for Transplants’ website to share more about Ashley, and provide a way for people to donate to her case.

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Click here to learn more.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Ashley. You can do this!

Samantha Stephens absolutely lives for music. When she's not making it, she's talking or writing about it. She's worked in all arenas of the country music world for nearly a decade, from syndicated radio and television to print journalism. She's even been known to crash a red carpet or two, true story.
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