I have experienced the hospital environment my entire life. All in all I have had sixteen surgical procedures. Some have been minor with quick recovery time. Others require months of rehabilitation. I am not going to lie to you, the rehabilitation is tough. Some days you think you’re doing mega well, other days you cry in a kitchen. However there’s no choice. You pick yourself up either literally or figuratively and you get your arse to the next session of physical therapy. There is no choice, you do it.
If you asked Amber Lee Lawrie, she would say the same thing. She fought harder then anyone I have ever known, both in the time I met her at rehabilitation and most recently in her courageous battle with cancer. This cancer ultimately took her life.
At 17 she had plans, plans like mine and yours.
She was going to study medicine, she wanted to learn to drive and she didn’t see her wheelchair as an obstacle. Being the deputy Head Girl of her high school, someone who studied all three sciences and math on top.
She was incredibly intelligent, charismatic and powerful in her ability to compel others to action through her own.
For this reason I will always be immensely privileged to call her my friend.
When Amber was initially re-diagnosed I visited her. We discussed her funeral music, her laughter at the fact that someone suggested a Galantis song which will be forever engraved in my brain. I will also always remember the way she told me that she’d donate her body to medical science because in her words this way, “she could be a part of medical school, minus the student loan.”
The laugh that followed this statement was bright and honest. In the hardest time of her life she was free of sympathy for herself and full of empathy for others. She never stopped thinking of other people, how she could make their lives fuller, how she could contribute to this world.
I can say with full conviction that Amber Lee Lawrie, succeeded in doing both these things while she was with us here on earth and she will continue doing both these things because every person Amber Lee met was effected by her for the better.
She is written in ink upon our lives.
There is nothing I can say that could ever accurately describe Amber, how much I will miss her or how amazing she is. Nothing I say could ever be a descriptor as to how much I wish she did not have to go through what she did. But I will tell you with a bold unafraid confidence that Amber will remain a part of me as long as I am here. She will.
I encourage you to act, bring forth your dreams, work hard and love others. Amber did this every day and we can learn a lot from this fact. We can learn to live gratefully and courageously.
“There is always going to be a lot of love surrounding you, no matter where you are” – Adam Bennett.
The companies that were represented in our lookbook that was by dedication to Amber, also extend their thoughts to her and her family.
We did a video with Amber, you can look at it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6XEDeie_oo