A Banbridge Academy pupil received a special good luck kiss from World Number One golfer Rory McIlroy before she went into hospital yesterday (Monday) to start treatment for her transplant.
Amy Uprichard (17), met Rory at the official opening of a new £3m respite facility in Newcastle last week where she hopes to stay once the treatment is complete.
Amy who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in May last year, will have four days of radiotherapy followed by two days of chemotherapy before the operation which is scheduled for October 28.
She said: “We knew Rory was going to be there. We’d met him at Christmas time when he came down to Daisy Lodge. He’d asked for all of us to come down again for the official opening.”
Daisy Lodge, is the first facility of its kind in the UK and Ireland. It will provide every family in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland affected by childhood cancer a therapeutic short break.
Amy, a keen ballet dancer, said that meeting Rory has made a lasting impression on her.
“He (Rory) remembered us all by name,” she said. “He remembered what we’d been talking about at Christmas and he asked me about my ballet. It was just like talking to a friend.
She continued: “I’m going in for my transplant next week. I go in on Monday. I can’t wait to get in and get it done.”
Amy, described the new facility in Newcastle as ‘amazing.’ She said: “I know that when I got through my transplant I can come here to relax and get a fresh start.
“It’s a proper hotel for up to 12 families. The way they see it the whole family should be able to enjoy the experience. I haven’t had the chance to stay yet but I will.”
Through the NI Cancer Fund For Children Amy has made many new friends including Jarlath Nicholl from Coalisland. She said: “Jarlath and I were in hospital around the same time last year and from then we’ve been like brother and sister.”