Ashlander Whitney Chatfield dies at 20

Twenty-year-old Whitney Chatfield of Ashland has lost her five-year battle with cancer &

a struggle publicized with community-supported benefit concerts and controversial treatments.

The 2006 graduate of Ashland High School was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma at 15 and, in the ensuing years, gathered considerable support and financial help through fundraising dances and other events.

She died at home in Ashland Thursday night, with her family and a hospice nurse at her side. Her parents, Paul Nash and Ami Cline and younger brothers Isaac and Quinn, live in Ashland.

Chatfield attended AHS Wilderness Charter School in her junior year. In her 18 months since high school, she camped with family members and went to New York City twice with friends, said family friend Mary Anne Cropper. She spent much of last summer and fall with friends in Portland before returning home for her final months.

Christine Crawley, Chatfield's teacher for four years at Ashland's Waldorf School, called her "radiant, strong, vibrant and lovely, a delight to have as a student."

"She was able to handle so much and blessed the lives of all who knew her," Crawley said.

In the final painful months, after chemotherapy and radiation were discontinued, Crawley said, Whitney lived "consciously, heroically, superbly &

she grabbed her life and lived it."

In addition to standard medical therapies, Chatfield traveled in 2004 to Buenos Aires for removal of tumors and a controversial new vaccine treatment, which for a time gave the family hope. The treatment involved injections of a vaccine made from her own blood and tumor cells.

Over the years, the family coped with several hundred thousand dollars in medical costs. The Buenos Aires treatment alone cost $130,000.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Siskiyou (Waldorf) School, 631 Clay St., Ashland.

Share This Story