Decorated Ky. veteran diagnosed with triple-positive breast cancer while pregnant

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 9:37 PM EDT
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MERCER COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Thomas and Ashley Hawkins have a big family—and it’s about to get bigger.

“I am currently 19 weeks pregnant with my 5th child,” said Ashley Hawkins, as four children ran around the living room of their rural Mercer County home.

They’re expecting another little girl in November.

“At times, yes, being a mother is more trying than anything I had to deal with in Iraq! I love my kids don’t get me wrong, but there are times! Are you a parent?” She asked WKYT’s Phil Pendleton.

Ashley is a veteran, and a decorated one at that. She received the Bronze Star for her actions during combat in March 2005.

“Which I am the first woman in American military history to receive,” she said.

The honor for that action was based on a battle of nine against 70 insurgents. But that was nothing compared to the news she got last month.

“Then I found a lump in my breast,” Hawkins said.

Triple-positive breast cancer.

“Had my right breast removed,” Hawkins said.

Now, she’s navigating a pregnancy and chemotherapy.

“As a mother you want to protect your children. Even those that aren’t here yet,” Hawkins said.

In Iraq it was dealing with whatever that day brought. Now it’s much the same, yet a different kind of battle.

“And I take my time and deal with that in that moment because that moment is what I have.”

There’s a GoFundMe page set up to help with the Hawkins family’s expenses. You can follow the link here.

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