Leukemia fighter remembered by friends as an inspiration

Published 10:56 am Friday, May 30, 2014

FRANKLIN—Not long before losing her battle with cancer, Amy Flythe learned that the strength and courage she had shown during the fight made her an inspiration to some of her closest friends.

Amy Flythe pictured with a flower in her hair. To honor her memory, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints will be hosting a blood drive Saturday. -- JENA PASSUT | TIDEWATER NEWS

Amy Flythe pictured with a flower in her hair. To honor her memory, the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints will be hosting a blood drive Saturday. — JENA PASSUT | TIDEWATER NEWS

She knew in the end that something positive had come out of her struggle, said Deanie Robertson, a friend. The Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Flythe’s former women’s group, wanted to make it mean something else.

“We miss her terribly, and we knew we wanted to do something for her, it was just a matter of what,” said Robertson, one of the organizers. “We decided that a really good fit to honor our friend and help benefit the community in a way that is meaningful would be a blood drive.

“She had to have so many blood transfusions when she was having her treatments.”

The blood drive will be Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church on 309 Homestead Road, Franklin.

Robertson said right now blood reserves for the American Red Cross are low. And at least in the example of her friend, Robertson said donated blood was very important to her battle. Flythe was hospitalized 20 times, and had to have a transfusion each time.

“I know that the Red Cross is really counting on this to be successful,” Robertson said.

Robertson said Flythe was always smiling.

“Amy was such a friendly woman,” she said. “She really didn’t know a stranger. She had a hug and a smile for you every time you were around her. Even through her treatment, she was always smiling and had a hug for you.

“She rarely complained during it.”

Even when not feeling well, she’d also be at the church service.

“I don’t know of a time where she missed Sunday services,” Robertson said. “She wanted to be there, with the people most important to her.”

Family was also important, Robertson said.

“She’s the mother of two sons,” she said. “They graduated from high school just a few months before her passing, so she was able to make it. In the end, her thoughts were always about her boys and her husband Buddy. Family was everything.”

She also enjoyed dancing, and one of the last events she attended was a “We be Jammin’” event.

“She wanted to do something fun, so she said, ‘Let’s go,’” Robertson said. “When we came back, she was just laughing and happy, from just watching people dancing. It was one of her favorite things to do.”

She also loved to wear flowers in her hair, and rather than wearing a hat or a wig when her hair fell out during chemotherapy, she wore a headband with a flower.

“At her funeral, every woman had a flower in their hair,” Robertson said. “It was not anything coordinated. It was just something everyone had done in honor of Amy.”

In the beginning of her treatment, Robertson said Flythe was concerned that she may not be able to endure what she had to go through.

“She did not have the faith in herself that she had the strength to do it,” she said. “I had watched my husband go through it and also a friend. I knew she had more strength than she knew.”

About a month before she died, a friend had come to her and expressed that seeing that demonstration of courage and strength that Flythe had throughout the battle, had inspired her.

“Amy knowing that she had been an inspiration to others, and that something positive was coming out of her experience, had made her feel good,” she said. “I also know that something else positive coming out of it, like the blood drive, would be something that would make Amy very happy.”