John 15:13 states, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
24 year old Ashley Bridges of California exemplifies those words in an incredible way, making the ultimate sacrifice for her newborn daughter when she refused a cancer treatment that would save her life.
When she was 10 weeks pregnant, Ashley learned of her diagnosis, CBS Los Angeles reports, and doctors told her she should start chemotherapy immediately. However, because of the strength of the treatment, it would have required Ashley to terminate her pregnancy.
"There's no way I could kill a healthy baby because I'm sick," Bridges told CBS2's Kristine Lazar. During her third trimester, at eight months, Bridges was told that delaying treatment had allowed the cancer to spread.
"That's basically when they told me that it was terminal," she said.
Doctors told Ashley she must give birth to her baby, whom she named Paisley, immediately in order to start treatment
However, even after multiple rounds of chemotherapy, she was given less than a year to live.
"I felt like I tried so hard to keep Paisley safe and do the minimum [treatment] to keep her healthy. The thought that I'm not going to see her grow up is really hard," Ashley said,
The young mother also has a 6 year old son from a previous relationship.
"His exact words were, 'If you pass away, I want to come with you,'" Ashley said.
Friends and family are currently helping Ashley take care of Paisley during the day, and her fiance, who is in the military, takes care of her during the night.
"She's a real-life superhero, to be honest with you," said Jessica, Bridges' sister.
"Ashley understands what love truly is," added one of her friends. "She risked her life for her baby girl and has never once looked back."
"Maybe I'm not supposed to be here and she is," Bridges said of her newborn daughter, adding that she has no regrets and believes everything happens for a reason.
"She's like my little sunshine in this ... nightmare."