Alumni Highlights

Ashley Applegarth Shares the Gift of Friendship and Lorisa’s Story

September 16, 2021

Friendship is a gift that is priceless … and for Ashley Applegarth, it is also timeless.

(l-r) Lorisa Thomas Bates and Ashley Applegarth

For the 2008 Nyack College School of Education alumna, not even death has stopped her from honoring the special bond she shared with her dear friend, Lorisa Thomas Bates. Lorisa, also a Nyack School of Ed alumna passed away last year at just 33 years old. The young wife and mother of two small children succumbed to a battle with cancer.

Ashley turned the pain of loss into an expression of joy that God allowed their paths to cross at Nyack. In a communication with School of Education Dean Dr. JoAnn Looney, Ashley shared how she created a platform for Lorisa’s voice.

“A little over year ago, Ris and I got together to brainstorm and plan a children’s book that we would write together. She really wanted to write a book that would help kids whose parents have cancer. What would the kids be feeling? How can we help them get through it? All the things we hoped we could answer. We were so excited and ready to start, but we didn’t get beyond the brainstorm.”

Earlier this month, Ashley was able to say, “Well…Ris, I finished our story!”  Mommy Said was published.

“This is for her, for her precious children, and family, the Childhood Education major and new author shares. “This book was a miracle in itself. I couldn’t think of anything to write for months, but just prayed one night and the idea came to me. All of the profits from this book will be given to Grady and McKenna (Lorisa’s children).”

To all who add this book to their personal libraries, Ashley says, “I pray that this book touches your soul and helps you see no matter what happens in life… IT IS WELL.”

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