Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Skating champion Katie loses brave battle against cancer

The last picture of Katie Scarbrough on the beach at Weston Super Mare with her husband Stuart

One of her final wishes was to feel a sea breeze in her face as she watched her children play on a beach.

The above photograph captures one of the last days Katie Scarbrough spent with her loved ones, fulfiling what she wanted to do before losing her fight against cancer.

The inspirational east Belfast mum visited the beach on Saturday and sat smiling with her husband as she felt the sun on her face. Just five days after this loving moment was captured, the 32-year-old died from the bowel cancer she was diagnosed with just 10 months ago.

Katie, who died in the early hours of yesterday morning, showed inspirational strength and determination in life. And now, even in death, the champion ice skater will continue to touch thousands of people thanks to her courageous battle against cancer.

The mum-of-two leaves a legacy of the thousands of pounds raised for charity in her name as well as increased awareness of the disease.

A national champion ice skater in her teens, Katie was born in east Belfast but had settled in Staffordshire, England with her husband Stuart and their two young children Sam (8) and Sophie (5). She was diagnosed with cancer 10 months ago and inspired her family and friends with her determination to live every day to the fullest.

It was through her honest and emotional blog – that covered her journey from the first day of chemotherapy – that she touched the hearts of people all over the world, leading to tens of thousands of pounds being raised in her name for Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK.

Among the big fundraisers held in Katie's name was a gala at Dundonald International Ice Bowl earlier this year. Writing in her final blog last week, the Gilnahirk woman shared the moment she was told that further treatment was not an option.

She also wrote of the heartbreaking moment she told her children she was dying.

Writing on Twitter this week, Katie's husband Stuart said she fulfilled her wish of going to the beach at Weston-Super-Mare one last time, to feel the wind on her face and watch her children play.

He shared a snap of the couple on the beach on one of their last days together. Katie also wrote of her desire to sit on the sofa of ITV daytime show This Morning.

While she was too ill to do this, she was delighted when flowers arrived this week from presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Katie spent her final days in a hospice and her death was announced on her website yesterday.

Katie's funeral, a celebration of her life, will take place on a date to be announced.

To read her journey in her own words visit www.katiescarbrough.co.uk

To make a donation to Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Katiescarbrough

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