ERIE (KDKA) — A Beaver County native who recently lost her battle with cancer is leaving behind a legacy for her students in Erie.
Ashley Kuzma, 32, wrote her own obituary and it is catching the attention of a lot of people.
In it, she encourages not only her students at McDowell Intermediate High School in Erie, but anyone who reads it, to follow their values and dreams, and to love.
“My wish for you is to stop letting insignificant situations stress you out. Do what is important to you. Relax and enjoy the company of those around you. What do you value in your life? In the end, that’s what matters,” Kuzma writes.
Kuzma grew up in Conway, Beaver County, but moved to Erie with her family after her graduation from Freedom High School in 2005. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and Edinboro University.
The gifted support teacher battled laryngeal cancer four times before passing away on Sept. 22 at the Cleveland Clinic.
She says she loved reading, her cats, golfing, watching movies and rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, most of all, she loved traveling.
She’s spent time places near and far, like the Outer Banks, the Grand Canyon, London, France, Poland and Italy.
“After I found out my cancer was back for the fourth time, I went to Mexico and saw Chichen Itza,” she wrote.
Kuzma also writes that her battles with cancer left her with an important lesson she wanted to pass on to others.
She wrote: “One positive outcome from having recurrent cancer was that it taught me to let go of the insignificant things and to just enjoy the people and places.”
Kuzma asked that her family hold a celebration of life instead of a viewing because she thinks they are “too sad for everyone.” It will be held this Sunday in Erie.
To read the full obituary, click here.