I find it almost impossible to believe that we have moved on a fortnight since Amica's passing, and yet to me it feels like yesterday. So many of you have been incredibly kind and concerned for her over the last two years, asking after her, passing on your love and support, and because of that I wanted to write just a few words in her memory.
I met Amica at QVC many years ago, and although we would talk occasionally before and after shows, the schedules are such that there's not a lot of time to really get to know someone. All that changed in April 2011, when I had begun my chemotherapy and I had a call from Amica telling me that she too had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
She was very frightened and upset, but after talking for a while she was calmer, and I know it helped both of us. We talked when she had to make a decision about her surgery, we compared our chemo side effects, cried together when she lost her hair and I was already bald, tried to reassure each other that it would get better, and for a while it did.
When she called me to tell me the cancer had spread to her lungs I was as devastated as she was, but the treatment she was given seemed to turn things around really quickly…I visited her in her beautiful home, where she had drawn an incredible mural of the Tree of Life on the wall. It was also covered with pictures and photographs of her two beautiful daughters – so like their mother.
Her hair grew back, she grew stronger, had fabulous reconstruction and came back to work. You know as well as I do Amica brought the screen to life with her smile, her infectious laugh, and her beautiful face. I remember presenting the YBF shows with her and her old friend, Stacey Schiefflin, both of us comparing our new and still very short hair.
I loved working with her and Mally, where once again her sparkling smile brought a touch of magic to the hour, in a way that was unique to her. She was the face of our Gatineau range for many years, and really made the hours special with her insightful comments about the products.
When I was invited back to This Morning to promote Breast Cancer Care, they asked if I knew of any models who could also take part and I gave them Ammie's number. You may remember how fabulous she looked that day… We made time to see each other before and after shows, and kept in touch by text, and even when she was frightened I tried to stay positive for her.
The last time I saw Amica was before and during our Mally hour. I remember distinctly making a joke about our new brows and lashes, and she laughed and then looked straight into the camera and smiled… I can still see her face now, and it is an image I will hold onto forever.
I was told Amica was in a hospice the day before she died. She was sleeping and with her family, but I did get a message to her, and I know that she received it…. Words seem hollow in a situation like this, although ironically there is so much you want to say, but never will… But there had been times when we had found the words, and had propped each other up, and made each other laugh, and believed – as I always did – that we'd both get through this…
My heart goes out to her lovely husband, her two girls, her entire family and legion of friends. This is such a huge loss for us all, and she will be so missed…I still have her texts in my phone, and special memories in my mind, and I will hold tight to them for always. She was a brave and beautiful woman, and a caring and kind friend.
Love, Ali xx