When Amy Redhead received the terrifying news that she had bowel cancer, she had to make certain decisions about her treatment. Not only that, but she also chose to face the disease in the most public of ways, leaving the Facebook community inspired and heartbroken at the same time.
Amy Redhead’s life story is nothing short of tragic. Until recently, she was a normal 28-year-old woman living in the West Midlands, U.K. But on October 25, 2017, she and her family were given some devastating news. Redhead was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Unfortunately, Redhead had always been more likely to get bowel cancer than the average person. That’s because she had a condition called colitis – an inflammation of the intestines. Ever since she was 11 years old she was aware that she was at risk of getting cancer one day.
Then, when she was much older, Redhead noticed some pain in her abdomen. But she didn’t go for tests straight away. In fact, it was only when she found a lump in her stomach that she went to get checked out. That’s when she got the dreaded news that it was cancer.
In fact, not only did she had bowel cancer, but the disease had spread even further. It had reached her liver by the time that she was diagnosed, meaning that her prognosis wasn’t good at all. Doctors told Redhead that she only had a matter of months to live.
In terms of treatment, Redhead was given the option to start chemotherapy. But she decided against it. And her 22-year-old sister, Emily, told the Daily Mail how no one was surprised when Redhead turned down the aggressive form of treatment. She said it was testament to her “stubborn” nature.
Redhead recognized that chemotherapy would likely extend her life, but despite that she was more interested in preserving her health. “She’d rather have less time and feel healthier in herself so that’s what she chose to do,” said Emily.
After deciding to pursue a holistic method of treatment, Redhead subsequently set up a GoFundMe page to support her family. On it she explained a little more about her decision to turn down chemo. “I have always been a firm believer in natural healing, and this situation was no exception,” she wrote.
Redhead made the point that chemotherapy would never be able to cure her. So instead of putting herself through the unpleasant treatment, she opted for “an alkaline/vegan diet which will include lots of organic fruit and veg” instead. And there was more to it than that.
Redhead also stated that she was keen to try other methods of treatment, such as taking Vitamin C intravenously. But she was also aware that her holistic healing might not prove successful. So she assured everyone that should the worst happen, any money donated would go towards her funeral.
At the beginning of her holistic treatment, Redhead kept her social media following updated on her progress. She regularly posted videos and photos to Facebook, documenting the ups and downs of her cancer journey in a truly candid and honest fashion.
However, in a video dated January 8, 2018, Redhead shared some bad news. Tests revealed that the tumor in her bowel hadn’t really changed in size, and her liver was in bad shape, too. In fact, doctors told Redhead that her liver was 70 percent cancerous.
“We’re not playing around now guys,” she said, before adding that she was “kind of relieved” because she already knew her body was trying to tell her something. It was clear that Redhead felt that her days were numbered. However, no one could say exactly how long she had left.
Then, on January 27, 2018, Redhead informed her followers that she wasn’t able to continue with her updates. “Mentally I no longer have the strength,” she wrote. “This is no longer about fighting. This isn’t living. This is existing. It is joyless.” That’s when her family took over.
“Amy has shared her story on social media throughout her ordeal but now she’s not well enough to do so for herself anymore, we’re doing it for her,” her sister told the Daily Mail. And the photos that followed were pretty upsetting.
At the end of January 2018, the family shared an image of Redhead lying in her hospice bed having her nails painted. In the photograph she looked very frail, provoking an outpouring of supportive comments from the online community, even from people she had never met.
By sharing the images, Redhead’s family wanted to “show others the physical impact bowel cancer has on the body.” They hoped to spread awareness about the disease, and encourage more people to get abdominal pain checked out, as it “could have saved Amy’s life.”
“We are so proud of the fight she’s put up for the last few months,” Redhead’s sister Emily said. “She has been so brave but she has said she’s ready to die now and no longer be in pain.” Thankfully, the two sisters had just enough time together to create a memory box.
Redhead also managed to make her own funeral plans with the help of two friends. And she also made sure that her will was in order before her time came. Then, in February 2018, less than four months after she was diagnosed with cancer, Redhead tragically passed away.
And while the Facebook updates have now stopped, heartbroken messages still flood Redhead’s profile. Her story is a tragic one, but perhaps her family can find some comfort in her incredible bravery. Furthermore, her willingness to open up throughout her ordeal may help others avoid the same terrible fate.