News

Community backs Delhi's Brooks

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

A Go Fund Me page has been established to assist Delhi native Amy Brooks, 22, after the Mohawk College student was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Contributed Photo

A Go Fund Me page has been established to assist Delhi native Amy Brooks, 22, after the Mohawk College student was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Contributed Photo

Support is pouring in for a 22-year-old Delhi woman recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Amy Brooks, a well-liked member of Delhi District Secondary School both during her time as a student and afterward, was rushed to hospital in February with severe abdominal pain. Further tests revealed that cancer had spread throughout Brooks' abdominal area.

She began chemotherapy treatment Mar. 10 and will continue with that until an Apr. 27 surgery that aims to remove as many tumours as possible. Between four and six more rounds of chemo are scheduled following the procedure.

The diagnosis came just weeks before Brooks was set to write her final exams in the two-year Mohawk College protection, security and investigation program, a venture she worked during and after high school to fund by herself.

To help ease her financial burden and costs associated with medical treatment, a Go Fund Me Page (gofundme.com/vd9bn-team-amy) with a goal of reaching $20,000 in donations was established Monday evening. In less than 48 hours almost $6,000 had poured in.

“The only way to explain it would be overwhelming, but in the best possible way,” Brooks said Tuesday afternoon. “I knew that people come together for different things but I've never really experienced anything like this before. I'm really grateful for all the support that I've gotten so far.”

Brooks was a popular student at DDSS among both teachers and students. She was a dedicated member of the Raiders cheerleading team and returned to coach the squad after graduating in 2012. Brooks often volunteered her time as a part of the Raiders and possesses a unique spirit, said DDSS teacher Colleen Bator.

“I'm not saying this because she's sick, she really is the most beautiful student I've ever met in my life,” said Bator, who taught Brooks in a Grade 10 careers class.

“She really is just the most beautiful soul – just smiles ear to ear, quiet always like an introvert but so kind, so sweet ... she was never involved in any drama. She was just a ball of beautiful energy all the time – just a sweet, sweet, sweet young person.”

Sarah Ploj, a friend who established the Go Fund Me page, said Brooks is the kind of person people should rally around.

“Amy is a quiet person until you get to know her,” Ploj added. “She has a contagious laugh that just makes others feel better when with her. I am thankful to have a sweet person like her in my life.”

After graduation, Brooks wasn't sure which career path to go down so she worked at Wilkinson's Your Independent Grocer and eventually settled on security. She plans to return to Mohawk to earn her diploma after treatment.

“I was so excited when I finally realized what I wanted to do,” she began. “I was really happy with my program and I love everything about my school and my program, and then this happened. I think I'm just really determined to finish because I know what I want to do.”

Many of the donations on Brooks' Go Fund Me page came with notes of encouragement.

“Prayers & Thoughts are with you Amy, You will beat this,” one said.

“You're such a beautiful soul Amy! Sending you lots of love,” read another.

Those sentiments have given Brooks strength in her battle.

“I think that is going to be the key in helping me stay positive and get through all of this,” Brooks said.

“The Go Fund Me page has received a lot of support so far, but even the little messages that people send me saying 'hey, I'm thinking of you', that helps a lot too.”

Anyone wishing to purchase 'Team Amy' T-shirts with proceeds going to Brooks can do so by contacting her parents Bob and Heather at 519-582-3953.

A 'Team Amy' fundrasing event has been established – it will take place June 17 beginning at 6p.m. at the Courtland Community Centre. The night will feature both dinner and games with tickets being sold for $10 per person.

jrobinson@postmedia.com