Amy up for Spirit award

Amy Uprichard.
Amy Uprichard.

A Lurgan girl is in the running for an award which celebrates the determination and spirit of Northern Ireland’s unsung heroes.

Amy Uprichard (17), who despite being diagnosed with Leukaemia completed her GCSEs and is continuing to pursue her dancing dream, has been shortlisted in the young person category in the Spirit of NI awards run by UTV and Sunday Life and sponsored by Specsavers.

Last year Oscar Knox, who passed away last week, was the star of the show, recognised for his brave battle against cancer, raising awareness and funds for the rare condition.

Amy, a member of Jeanne Cree School of Ballet along with her sister Gemma, said: “It’s unbelievable. I’m still in shock.

“My treatment finished at the end of the year. Everything’s been going really well.

“I think the treatment has made me more determined.

“I didn’t lie down and let illness take over me. It’s made me stronger.”

Amy starred in the Grand Opera House recently in English Youth Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty for the company’s first visit to Belfast. A shining example of how Amy hasn’t let chemotherapy treatment hold her back since being diagnosed with Leukemaemia.

The determined Banbridge Academy schoolgirl has been dancing almost every day despite undergoing gruelling chemotherapy at Belfast City Hospital.

During her treatment she went to the hospital gym to practise and dance plus she sat five of her GCSEs, missing two exams.

She plans to do her A levels and continue with her dancing. She is hoping to learn some more styles of dancing, go to London and dance professionally.

The Spirit of NI ceremony takes place on Friday, May 30 and Amy will also be competing in Ultimate Beauty UK and Ireland final on July 1.