A brave Lichfield mum given just weeks to live has launched her own charity appeal to raise awareness and funds for research into cancer.
Former ice-skating champion Katie Scarbrough was devastated when she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in June last year.
Her first instinct was to savour every spare moment with her two young children Sophie, 4, and eight-year-old Sam.
The blog has caught the attention of thousands and attracted the support of celebrities including comedian Matt Lucas and Stephanie Moore MBE.
“Anything that raises awareness helps keep me going,” said Katie who has just celebrated her 32nd birthday at home in Fradley. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support from friends, family and people I’ve never met.
“I even had a phone call from Stephanie Moore which was lovely.
“There are times when I cry uncontrollably and I think I’ve done something wrong but I have to find something else to focus on.
“I need to stay as normal as possible for my kids and myself.”
Katie, an ex-British Junior Ice Skating Champion originally from Belfast, was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer in June last year after falling ill while on holiday in Menorca.
At first doctors thought her blood clots were associated with Crohn’s disease. But doctors later gave Katie and husband Stuart the worst news imaginable.
“We were taken to a side room off the ward,” said Katie. “That’s when the doctor told us I had cancer. I had a tumour which had grown since Menorca and it was on my perineum, bowel, ovaries and liver.
“It was devastating. I just kept thinking about the kids.”
Katie underwent immediate chemotherapy but a scan in January revealed that treatment had not worked. The cancer had spread to her bones and back.
Now she is undergoing further chemotherapy and her mission to raise awareness of bowel cancer has taken on a new urgency.
So far Katie – together with friends and family – has raised £3,300 for Cancer Research UK and Bowel Cancer UK.
Further fundraising events are planned to support Katie’s appeal and a group of friends will take part in Cancer Research UKs Race for Life in her honour in June.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” said Katie, who used to work as an airline ticket desk agent for Brussels Airlines at Birmingham Airport.
“I’d like to take part in Race for Life but, like so many things, I can’t plan ahead.
“I really want something positive to come out of me having cancer so, if I can raise money for charity or make someone go to the doctor with symptoms, then that’s what I want to do. That’s what keeps me strong.”
To view Katie’s blog or make a donation to cancer research visit www.katiescarbrough.co.uk.