A brave young woman with incurable cancer turned on Weston Park Hospital’s Christmas lights – as a thank you for her inspirational fundraising.
Amy Usher, aged 22,of Wath, near Rotherham, was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in late 2012 when she was a student at the University of Lincoln.
After undergoing surgery and a round of chemotherapy it had been hoped she was on the road to recovery, but last summer the tumour was starting to grow back and was found to be incurable.
Since her diagnosis, Amy and her sister Beth have been helping to raise thousands of pounds for the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, with the support of the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team.
To say thank you, Amy was given the honour of switching on the lights in front of staff and patients.
Also helping her to press the buzzer was patient librarian Christine Firth, from Norton, who was nominated by other hospital staff for the honour, and Chesterfield FC chairman Dave Allen, whose company A&S Leisure Group is sponsoring this year’s display.
Beth has helped raise more than £8,000 so far, mainly from doing a 10km charity run in Graves Park. She had set an initial target of £200 but managed to collect more than £7,000 as hundreds of donations rolled in.
The sisters have also had their fundraising efforts promoted by the Steelers team, who have organised a series of fundraising efforts to help the good cause.
Amy is currently receiving palliative care at the hospital’s dedicated teenage unit and said she was proud to have been asked to turn the lights on for the charity.
She said: “I have been diagnosed for a couple of years and for all that time, I have had two lots of radiotherapy and three different lots of chemotherapy so they have done a lot.
“They offer a lot of support, especially the teenage unit who have got specialist nurses who visit me every week and you never feel alone.”
Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is asking people to donate to its Christmas Star Appeal, where it is sending out stars to hang on Christmas trees for each donation it receives.
n Visit www.christmasstarappeal.org.uk for more information or to donate.