Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Nice moves for brave Katie Scarbrough

Ill skater battles harsh weather for gala night

Jenna McCorkell with Katie Scarbrough (centre) and organiser Kerry Greer
Jenna McCorkell with Katie Scarbrough (centre) and organiser Kerry Greer
British ladies' champ Jenna McCorkell
British ladies' champ Jenna McCorkell
Kevin van der Perren
Kevin van der Perren

Katie Scarbrough is one determined woman.

We already knew that from following from the 32-year-old's online blog charting her experience of terminal cancer which has inspired people all over the world.

That same fighting spirit got the courageous mother-of-two to her native Belfast at the weekend – despite all the obstacles the weather threw in her way.

The Gilnahirk woman, who could have just weeks to live, braved harsh, snowy conditions, cancelled ferries and flights to make it from the Staffordshire village of Fradley, where she lives with her young family, to Dundonald International Ice Bowl for a skating gala in her name.

It took Katie – a former British junior ice skating champion – her husband Stuart and their children Sam (8) and Sophie (4) more than 24 hours to reach Dundonald for Katie's Ice Gala, which has so far raised more than £10,000 for Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK.

This will be added to the £5,000 already raised online in Katie's name. The two-day event began on Saturday with performances from skaters and ice troupes.

Ten time British figure skating champion Jenna McCorkell (26), from Coleraine, and her Belgian pro-skater husband Kevin van der Perren both showed their awesome skills on the ice, as a tired but happy Katie watched.

Katie spent the formative years of her successful skating career creating beautiful routines on the rink at Dundonald, so the ice gala was a fitting tribute for her.

"I feel completely overwhelmed by everyone's support," Katie told the Belfast Telegraph. "Everyone has gone out of their way to get in their cars and get rid of all the snow and be here. There are not enough words out there to put it into a sentence to say how amazing it is that everyone has got together to do this just for me."

The former figure skater was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June last year. Then was told in September the disease was beyond control.

Katie wants younger people to understand that cancer is not an old person's disease and is also determined to raise awareness and funds in the time she has left.

Jenna McCorkell said she was thrilled to perform at the gala.

"Katie is such a great girl. She is so strong. I can't even imagine being in the situation she is in," she said.

Katie's older brother Chris Allan performed as Michael Jackson.

"She has been very, very strong and is an inspiration to her family, her friends and all the people reading her blog," he said.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiescarb and read her blog www.katiescarbrough.co.uk

Quotes

"I feel completely overwhelmed by everyone's support. It's taken so long for me to get here and to come in to the rink and see everyone is amazing. Everyone has gone out of their way to get in their cars and get rid of all the snow and be here for two great charities. There are not enough words out there to put it into a sentence to say how amazing it is that everyone has got together to do this just for me. I'm just one little person that has cancer and they've all come together for me; it's overwhelming." - Katie Scarbrough

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