Amy’s story, Amy’s Day

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Former Wanstead High School pupil Amy Goacher died from ovarian cancer in 2012. Since then, her dad, Bob Goacher, mum Tina and sister Megan have celebrated Amy's life with an annual fundraising event.

Amy was a bright and beautiful young woman with a promising future ahead of her when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 at the age of 19.

She was in the first year of a psychology degree course at Bournemouth University and had just returned from a holiday in Malia in Crete with her friends when she went to the doctor with what she suspected was an infection. Amy then underwent a full hysterectomy, along with an operation to remove the tumours and a series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but the cancer continued to spread.

Amy was initially reluctant to be referred to Saint Francis Hospice to be treated for lymphedema, a common side effect of chemotherapy, which causes swelling in the arms and legs. But the range of services she received helped to control her sickness and pain and also to come to terms with her illness. Amy was in a really angry stage when she first arrived at the hospice. She was angry at what the cancer was doing to us as a family and would worry how we would cope once she had gone. She was also still grieving for her childhood friend Ellie Davis, who had died of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) in 2010, aged 18.

Amy faced death with courage by making plans and while this was difficult for myself, Amy's mum Tina and sister Megan, it also helped knowing we could fulfil her final wishes. Having a will written for Amy was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

In August 2012, Amy celebrated her 21st birthday with a day out in Cambridge and a BBQ with friends and family. The following month she was admitted to the hospice, and during the three weeks she spent on the inpatient unit before she died, her family, friends and her beloved pet cockapoo Maisie were regular visitors.

Amy's story is far from over as she left a legacy that will continue well into the future. In a letter she left to be read out at her funeral, she asked us to continue raising money for the hospice and to help fund research into finding a cure for ovarian cancer. Since 2013, we have held an annual golf day in her memory, which is known as Amy's Day and so far has raised £65,100. We have donated £26,646 to Saint Francis Hospice and we also support the work of Professor Ian McNeish – Amy's consultant at Barts who works tirelessly to find a cure for ovarian cancer – and help fund research into SUDEP in memory of Ellie.

So, following the success of previous years, our fifth annual golf and BBQ event is going to be another opportunity to celebrate Amy's life.

Amy's Day 2017 will take place at Wanstead Golf Club on 25 August. Tee-off is at 11.15am and the BBQ starts at 7pm (golf: £30; BBQ: £20; book by 31 July). For more information, visit wavidi.co/amysday


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