Belfast Telegraph

Art's in right place as paintings inspired by brave Amy are sold to aid cancer charities

By Joanne Sweeney

A young woman who received a bone marrow transplant six months ago to cure her leukaemia is now the inspiration for paintings at an art exhibition to help others fighting cancer.

Brave Amy Uprichard received a transplant from her youngest sister, and has now helped organise the exhibition that will raise funds for children's cancer charities.

Amy told the Belfast Telegraph last night: "It's exactly two years since I received my cancer diagnosis.

"Things have been so up and down since then.

"This time last year I was really ill, so it's great to be able to do something like this charity art exhibition, which we hope will raise several thousands at least."

Two of the paintings up for auction at tomorrow's event have been painted by a blind artist who helped care for Amy during some of her darkest days in hospital.

Mark Barclay, an agency health care assistant, met Amy and her family while she stayed at Belfast City Hospital last year.

Mr Barclay's two paintings, inspired by the young ballet dancer, are called Amy and The Colour Of Beauty.

They will be featured at the Charles Gilmore fine arts gallery in Belfast's Oxford Street.

The proceeds from the event, which takes place from 3-9pm, will be divided between CLIC Sargent and the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.

Mr Barclay said: "Amy inspires me because she completely humbles me. For someone so young to go through what she's been through and to see her deal with it with such good grace and humility, she just floors me."

The girl with the big smile, who also captured the heart of golf hero Rory McIlroy, has used her connections with the world number one to secure two 18th hole flags from his two Major wins last year at Valhalla and Royal Liverpool.

The Lurgan beauty queen impressed Rory last year when he visited the Cancer Fund for Children's Daisy Lodge, which is supported by The Rory McIlroy Foundation.

Belfast art dealer and gallery owner Charles Gilmore was so moved by Amy's story when she announced she had received the all-clear at the end of January that he approached her and offered to help with her fundraising.

Amy added: "I'm feeling really good now, I've started back to dancing and will be taking part in the Miss Europe contest later this year.

"Apart from Mark's paintings, we also managed to get a painting from Billy Nellins, who has painted a portrait of Rory, and Stephen Forbes - a well-known, award-winning Irish artist - has very kindly donated one of his 'playground paintings' to be sold at our event.

"And we will also get 20% of any sale from the art on the night."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph