A teenager known as ‘the girl with the pink hair’ has described her fight against a rare form of cancer – and is raising money for her hospital.
Amy Curtis, 19, who is battling ovarian germ cell cancer, is a familiar face behind the counter of Heckmondwike Superdrug, with her bright pink hair and happy smile.
In January she was diagnosed with cancer following surgery for what doctors believed was an ectopic pregnancy.
Now Amy, her dad Toni and mum Carol, of Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge, are focusing on raising cash for Sheffield Weston Park hospital, where Amy is being treated – and hope people and businesses will help.
Amy said: “When I thought I was pregnant I was ecstatic, but then grief-stricken because I thought I’d lost a child. Then it was a real kick in the face to be told it was actually cancer.
“It was overwhelming. I’d never heard of germ cell cancer and I didn’t even know it was there.
“They say they caught it early. I think it’s a silver lining, because in two years it would have spread more.
“It’s like a rollercoaster. You get on and if you’re scared of heights, like me, you think, ‘what am I doing’? But on the other side you think, ‘I’ve overcome that. I’ve done it’. You have to be positive, because if you’re down, it will kick you.”
The cancer has spread to Amy’s lungs and she is having chemotherapy, which she hopes will finish this month.
She said: “There is a very low chance it’s not all gone and I’d have to start treatment again, but we have to remain hopeful it’s all gone.
“We have to keep smiling and think positive.”
Toni said: “It doesn’t matter who you are, cancer can strike at any time. As a parent it’s your worst nightmare. You can’t do anything, you can’t grab it and say, ‘give it to me’.
“But the unit has been fantastic and we want to give something back.”
Amy and Toni have been making video diaries to help anyone worried about chemotherapy.
And they have fundraising events in the pipeline including a raffle, a music event and a skydive, which they hope a business will sponsor.
They have been inundated with raffle items and donations to Amy’s JustGiving page since announcing their pledge on Facebook.
Amy said: “Everyone knows it’s me as soon as they read ‘the girl with the pink hair that works in Superdrug’. In the unit everyone is given a real hair wig and mine is long and pink – so I’m still the girl with the pink hair!
“I never expected everyone to donate like they have. It’s remarkable.
“You don’t realise the support you have until something like this happens to you. Words can’t describe how grateful I am.”
• Visit www.justgiving.com/amyscancer to support the family.