In late 2021, Amy Denson and her husband were celebrating. They had the opportunity to purchase the house they’d called home for past 15 years. Becoming owners of the Kitty Hawk property would allow them to renovate so that their son and daughter, ages six and almost two, could have separate bedrooms and her husband, a wedding and family photographer, could have a space for his business.

The Densons worked hard to get to this point. Amy is the head of Duck United Methodist Church’s youth and young adult ministry, the head coach of the First Flight Middle School’s track team, and the head coach of the cross-country team at First Flight High School. Amy’s husband also coaches with her at Dare County Schools in addition to his photography business.

The timing is never right for a cancer diagnosis, but when Amy found out she had breast cancer in January 2022, she and her husband were just about to make their first mortgage payment. They were also entering the time of year when they rely most on their savings, photography being a seasonal business. Amy had no idea how her health would impact her ability to work. A friend told her about the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.

“Because of the Relief Foundation we were able to make those first mortgage payments. If we’d have had to make the mortgage payments and the medical payments at the same time, it would have put us in a bind. We didn’t have to jeopardize our home.”

The Relief Foundation paid the Denson’s mortgage, auto and utility payments for a few months.

This spring, Amy is in the middle of chemotherapy treatments at the Outer Banks Hospital. She will have surgery in Raleigh this summer and radiation treatments in the fall back here on the beach.

Amy is hoping that her surgery will be a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy. A mastectomy would mean she couldn’t lift her toddler for four to six weeks. But she crosses each bridge as she comes to it.

When asked what she would like the donors to know, she said,

“Thank you for supporting families as they go through a crisis. I’m glad our community is so good at taking care of one another.”