Dorothy Amuah: Meet the cancer survivor who started her business at age 17 (Photos)

Dorothy Amuah: Meet the cancer survivor who started her business at age 17 (Photos)

- Dorothy Amuah is the founder of Dorothy’s Hope Foundation

- The Ghanaian businesswoman established her first fashion venture at the age of just 17 while still in secondary school

- At age 29, Dorothy, was diagnosed with stage three cancer but she defied the odds

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At just the age of just 17, Dorothy Amuah established her own business while still in her final year at secondary school in the United Kingdom.

The business took a downturn just after two years in operation but she has since made her mark as a successful businesswoman, managing multiple ventures in Ghana.

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Today, whenever she gets the opportunity, the mother-of-two kids shares her mission to touch the lives of cancer patients and cancer survivors, particularly women and girls.

Dorothy Amuah was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at the young age of 29 years. At that time, she was happily married and had a thriving private business. She was compelled to put these aspects of her life on hold to concentrate on recovery.

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Dorothy Amuah: Meet the cancer survivor who started her own business at age 17 (Photos)
Dorothy Amuah was diagnosed with stage three cancer at the age of 29 but has defied the odds and now runs multiple businesses. Photo credit: Dorothy Amuah
Source: Instagram

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Rich family life

Dorothy has fond memories of her childhood in Labone, Accra, where she spent part of her early days as a child before moving to the United Kingdom.

She was born to a senior military officer, George Amuah, and an educationist, Dorothy Amoag Sr, who owned and run the Association International School, established by her parents at Airport Residential Area in Accra.

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Her family life was happy and fulfilled – but then the government of the time was overthrown and her father’s life came under threat. Geroge Amuah escaped into exile but he was sentenced to life in prison in absentia.

Dorothy and her family moved to the UK and escaped the ills that had struck her family in Accra to begin a new life.

The start of resilience

Dorothy received her first education in the UK after her family went into exile in Stanstead Saint Margarets in Hertfordshire and later went to Bruton School for Girls. She earned her first degree at London University.

The business-minded Dorothy started making her own money at a very young age. At 17, while still in secondary school, she established her own fashion promotion business to train emerging designers and give them exposure through her fashion. She continued running her business up to the second year at the on-campus at London University.

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After graduating with her undergraduate degree, Dorothy moved to the United States and pursued a course in optometry and a career in the field.

She soon tied the knot with her fiancée. The two had a happy and fulfilled life with flourishing businesses before tragedy struck.

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Three months into her marriage, her husband discovered a lump in her breast – a doctor confirmed that the lump was cancerous.

The news shattered Dorothy. At 29, she had to take the bold decision to finance and submit to mastectomy to remove the cancer cells. She underwent another 15-hour procedure involving breast reconstruction, using her body tissues. She again went through another six-month chemotherapy to kill every cancer cell in her body.

Despite the major impediment to her career, she beat the odds to survive the life-threatening disease. And on being discharged, a few days after her surgery, this resilient woman went to her office in New York to check on her businesses and workers.

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‘‘I didn’t let it stop me. Mentally, if you believe that you can beat this disease (cancer), you will. That’s 50% of the survival,’’ she told Asaase Radio.

Touching lives

As she managed her business in New York, people would go to her place to share their stories of struggling with cancer. And she would use her own story to motivate the cancer patients and cancer survivors.

When her father died, Dorothy decided to channel her pain and the inspiration she had derived from his achievements to establish her foundation to ‘‘give back to society.’’

Through Dorothy’s Hope Foundation and her other businesses, she has received a lot of support and attention for cancer suffers as she worked to empower women and people living with cancer and cancer survivors alike.

She attributes her achievements to her faith and the impact her father’s accomplishments had on her.

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Dorothy, who is in the forties, is providing support financial support and access to quality health to cancer patients and cancer survivors, especially women and girls.

Her Dorothy’s Hope Foundation, which was established six years ago, is providing screening, educational seminars, collecting data, and follows up on their patients to ensure that they are following prescribed recommendations.

‘‘Breast cancer has become a big thing in Ghana now … People are realising that this disease is devastating, [but] you can survive it if it’s detected early. Early detection is key … The need to have yearly mammograms is important.’’

Although she had to organise a screening clinic in Accra to assist early detection, she felt that ‘‘wasn’t enough’’ and decided to take it a step further.

She plans to build small container units in all the sixteen regions in Ghana through her Eye for Cancer project, a three-step programme with a focus on screening for cancer and other deadly diseases by well-trained health professionals. She plans to use the project to help make Ghana a hub for cancer research and treatment – and the project is expected to be in operation by 2023.

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Dorothy admits that funding hasn’t been easy but believes that this will happen. She has taken steps to bring the project to life, including meeting and working with Princess Dina Mired of Jordan.

In other news, previously reported that the grand finale of the 2020 edition of Miss Malaika Ghana came off at the Grand Arena inside the Accra International Conference Centre on Saturday, 31 October 2020.

Jasmine Djang, a 20-year-old business management student at the University of Professional Studies in Accra (UPS), won the coveted crown over the other nine contenders at the 2020 edition of the Miss Ghana beauty pageant.

With her unmatched talent, flawless look, and demonstration of brilliance, Djang impressed the judges and was adjudged winner of the enviable crown along with the ultimate prize.

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