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North Paulding senior endures most of life with cancer
by Bill Baldowski
July 23, 2014 02:33 PM | 5976 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Donna Cochran and her daughter Ansley Cochran, 17, a senior at North Paulding, pause from looking through a family photo album.
From left, Donna Cochran and her daughter Ansley Cochran, 17, a senior at North Paulding, pause from looking through a family photo album.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Ansley hangs out with the family dog, Bear, in the front yard.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Ansley hangs out with the family dog, Bear, in the front yard.
Cancer may not discriminate among those it affects but it has encountered a true fighter and relentless adversary in 17-year-old North Paulding High School senior Ansley Cochran.

Cochran, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was 3, has been battling the disease for 14 years.

The Paulding County native has a bubbly personality and positive attitude toward life which has helped her develop a long list of friends who have surrounded her with love and support in her fight.

However, Cochran said her entire family, especially her aunt Phyllis Atkins, has been especially supportive of her.

“Aunt Phyllis motivates and encourages me and is one of the most positive people I know,” Cochran said.

This is an important week for Cochran regarding her cancer fight as she is scheduled to visit an oncologist to find out how well her current medication is working.

She also recently was selected as an on-air personality for the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s 14th annual Care-A-Thon on WSB radio July 31 and Aug. 1.

Her cancer battle has not been easy as Cochran missed more than 40 days of school last year due to her treatments.

However, despite being a cancer patient herself, Cochran’s determination is not only focused on winning her personal battle with the disease but also on a career in fighting childhood cancers.

After graduation from North Paulding next year, Cochran said she hopes to attend Georgia Southern University or the University of Michigan.

“I want to work with children, especially those diagnosed with cancer,” she said. “I want to work in pediatric cancer research.”

She said there is perhaps no better person to help children stay positive in their battle with cancer than someone who has been there and knows exactly what they are going through.

“I want to love and support these children while also working to find a cure,” Cochran said.

According to the Web site,, Cochran’s neuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer that almost always occurs in infants and children.

It is so rare that only 700 new cases of neuroblastoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

This form of cancer starts in the tissue of the body and affects special nerve cells called neuroblasts.

Normally, these immature cells grow and mature into functioning nerve cells. However, in patients with neuroblastoma, they become cancerous cells.

According to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta officials, Cochran is on medication and has been undergoing chemotherapy on and off since her diagnosis.

“There is no cure for the disease but neuroblastoma can be kept in remission,” Cochran said.

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