Just five weeks after she gave birth to twins, Amy Savage’s partner, Dwayne, took his own life.
Those twins, Cash and Cruz, are now one year old. But Savage is facing a new battle — last month, the Adelaide mum was diagnosed with leukaemia.
The diagnosis didn’t come as too much of a surprise. Savage had been noticing unusual bruises on her legs. She’d also been getting bloody noses and coughing up blood.
“Prior to the diagnosis my body had shown me a lot of signs that something was wrong,” she tells Mamamia.
“About a week before seeing my doctor I had a moment to myself where I cried after looking at the bruising on my legs.
"I knew something was seriously wrong and I was hurt, not because it was happening to me, but because I was the only parent my sons had left.”
Savage is currently in hospital, undergoing chemotherapy. But she says she’s feeling optimistic.
“After losing Dwayne my perspective on life changed a lot,” she explains.
“Losing someone who was so close to me made me consider my own mortality very closely. Every moment of every day, people lose their lives suddenly. At least I have a chance to fight to keep mine.”
Unfortunately for Savage, her sons Cash and Cruz currently have colds. That means they aren’t able to visit their mum in hospital.
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“Kids and their runny noses!” she says.
“I have no immune system at the moment so I have to wait until my boys are 100 per cent healthy. I miss them like crazy, though.”
Savage, who is just 25, says she’s had a pretty eventful life.
“Things have always been a little harder in my life for some reason. So I am somewhat used to it," she says.
"I think, due to the hardships, I'm a lot stronger and it has taught me to have a sense of humour about things. I keep saying to my friends I would rather laugh than cry, so that’s what I am doing.”
Savage’s friend, Cassie McDermott, has set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to help cover Savage’s medical bills, support her twins, and buy a “good-quality wig to boost Amy’s confidence”.
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“With limited supports, Amy has shown courage, determination and true strength as a sole parent,” she writes on the page.
“It would be a wonderful thing if, as a community, we could come together to give some light into the life of Amy and her boys.”
Savage is feeling confident in her battle.
“Leukaemia is very treatable. I have got an aggressive type but I am an aggressive person, so I think I have a good shot.