Lurgan girl Amy Uprichard goes into hospital for a transplant next week with a kiss from World Number One Rory McIlroy for good luck.
Amy (17) met Rory for the second time at the official opening of a new £3m respite facility in Newry last week.
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, the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland, will provide every family in Northern Ireland affected by childhood cancer a therapeutic short break – it will also welcome children from the Republic of Ireland.
Amy continued: “He (Rory) remembered us all by name. 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. He’s really down to earth.”
Of her ballet dancing Amy said: “As soon as I got out of hospital I was back to the ballet. I started in September and have been going every week since then.”
She added: “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.
“I’ll be getting four days of radiotherapy and two days of chemo then the operation is scheduled for October 28.”
Of Daisy Lodge she said: “It’s amazing. 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 after my transplant.”
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.”