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Inspirational teen Amy Uprichard lives her dream on Royal Ballet School visit

A wish come true for dancer who battled cancer as charity flies family to London

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 06/06/2016

Amy Uprichard with Sean and Nadia from the Royal Ballet School in London
Amy Uprichard with Sean and Nadia from the Royal Ballet School in London

Inspirational dancer Amy Uprichard has spoken of her "incredible day" after her dream of spending time at the Royal Ballet School in London finally came true.

The teenager, who aspired to become a professional ballet dancer but is now training to be a dance teacher, has battled a type of blood cancer after being diagnosed at 15.

Although she had a place at Ballet West in Scotland, she needed to start intensive chemotherapy straight away. Her family then turned to Make-A-Wish, the charity that grants wishes to children and young people with life-threatening conditions.

But after relapsing, her wish had to be postponed, with doctors saying a bone marrow transplant would be her best chance of beating the disease.

Her sister Gemma proved to be a match and the transplant was carried out successfully in November 2014.

On her journey she has been inspiring others with her message of optimism: "Let your smile change the world, don't let your world change your smile."

And despite going through chemotherapy, the 19-year-old performed at the Grand Opera House in 2014 when she secured a role in The Sleeping Beauty.

After a year of recovering at home she was finally well enough to go on her postponed wish - accompanied by her mum Sarah and Gemma (13), who also loves ballet.

The Lurgan family was flown to London where they observed a ballet lesson and chatted with two students over lunch.

Amy said: "I enjoyed every single part of my wish. The whole day was incredible. I was in my element. It meant a lot to me seeing the life I was set to live before my illness. Being able to talk to those who are doing what I love was amazing and listening to the dance teachers was so helpful as, although I may not have got to live my dream of being a ballerina, I am now training to be a teacher so that I can help others achieve their dreams."

Amy's wish meant that her whole family could go away together - something they hadn't done for 14 years. The family said that as the children had never been to London, the experience was a "real treat for all of them".

If you would like to make a donation or refer a child to Make-A-Wish, visit

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