Kindness helps keep Albany’s Amy smiling
A heartwarming story of local businesses supporting each other has risen out of tough times for the owners of Drip Lock donuts.
Over the past few years, people have fallen in love with the gourmet, hole-in-the-wall donut shop.
They have also come to love its smiling owner, Amy Auty, so when she announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in June, the community was heartbroken in more ways than one.
Mrs Auty opened the gourmet donut store with a business partner in early 2017, before taking full ownership earlier this year and running it with the help of her husband, Tim.
Six months later she was diagnosed with grade-three breast cancer and the couple announced they would be closing the shop for the time being as she underwent treatment.
Which is where Kade Sims from Beck and Call came in, lending a hand by taking over their shop window, serving coffee and baked treats from other local businesses, Bred Co and The Free Range Chef.
He also set up a “Doughnate for Drip Lock” GoFundMe account and started collecting donations in a special teapot at the counter window each Saturday morning.
Grateful for the support, Mrs Auty said her business peers had helped to maintain Drip Lock’s momentum at a time when she had to focus on her family and health.
“When I posted on social media about having to close Drip Lock for a while, the outpouring of kind messages and support was so moving,” she said.
“We feel like our customers are part of our extended family.
“Knowing that Beck and Call are manning the window has definitely made my treatment easier, knowing that it’s in such great hands.
“Although cancer is never a diagnosis you want to hear, its a great time to step back and reassess what’s important in life and it really brings out the best in people that surround you.”
When Mrs Auty first found a lump in her breast in February, she thought it would be nothing serious.
“I left it until April to visit my GP, who was 90 per cent sure that it was a fibroadenoma,” she said.
“Early May, I was diagnosed with invasive, grade-three breast cancer.
“Immediately, we made the decision to stop Drip Lock to be able to focus on my health, but financially we were not prepared.
“All our money was being spent on our house renovations.”
She is now halfway through chemotherapy. Four weeks after her treatment is finished, she will have surgery.
She said the chemotherapy had made her nauseous, with aches, pains and interrupted sleep.
“It makes running a family of five difficult,” she said.
“My husband has become my personal chef and chief medication giver and Tim’s parents, Ned and Pam have been incredible – helping at all hours of the day and night.
“My family have all individually flown over from New Zealand to lend a hand with making lunches, endless laundry and housekeeping.
“My best friend in Melbourne shaved her long locks off with me (along with my husband and father) via facetime and crocheted me beanies to keep my new bald head warm.
“I’m looking forward to being cancer free and regaining my health after chemo and surgery, and when this happens, we intend to return to Drip Lock. We haven’t figured out all the details yet but that feels like a long way away.”
The window opens from 8.30am till noon on Saturdays at the Old Auction Room.
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