ST. GEORGE — Ashley Irvin, a 24-year-old Dixie State University graduate, was diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy in 2009, and community members showed their support Saturday by running and walking in a 5K in Irvin’s honor, organized by her college friends.
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Irvin suffered a gastrointestinal bleed and had to have 65 arteriovenous malformations cauterized in her small intestine after having a left ventricular assist device installed in her chest in October 2014, according to her blog. She has since been awaiting a new heart.
Irvin’s mother, Verna Askwig, said Irvin is at the top of the list for a heart transplant and has to remain within two hours distance from Salt Lake City as she awaits a call for surgery whenever a heart becomes available.
Although Irvin was unable to attend Saturday’s event, her mother was able to use FaceTime and record the event for her viewing.
Askwig said her daughter has progressively improved as she has gone through blood transfusions, but her birthday wish on Sunday, she said, is to receive a new heart.
Dash for Ash
Sabrina Higley and Megan Mathis, Irvin’s DSU classmates and organizers of the Dash4Ash 5K, said more than 120 people registered online prior to the race, and approximately 200 people showed up to support Irvin.
Higley and Mathis wanted to help when they heard about Irvin’s condition. They said they knew if any of them were in the same situation, Irvin would help them out.
In addition to the 5K, the event included food from Waffle Bliss and Bites Donuts, $5 massages offered by DSU physical therapists, a prize raffle, customized dog tags for sale, and a silent auction, with multiple rounds of golf from Sunbrook Golf Club among the items up for bid. All event proceeds were given to Irvin.
Higley and Mathis said at least $10,000 in merchandise and cash donations were received in support of Irvin prior to race day.
Irvin’s Idaho State University soccer teammates, Kim Felix and Lauren Dallimore, were also at the event to show their support and run the race.
“We just wanted to come out and support her,” Felix said. “The race was fun, and knowing what we are doing for her meant even more.”
Ed. note: Device installed in Irvin’s chest in October 2014, not 2015; correction made.
- Donations to help with Irvin’s medical expenses can be made on her GoFundMe page
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