Belfast Telegraph

Husband of brave Katie Scarbrough makes the TV appearance she'd always hoped to do

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

One of Katie Scarbrough's bucket list wishes was to appear on the This Morning sofa.

Tragically, the 32-year-old champion ice skater and devoted mother-of-two, from east Belfast, died on May 2 before she got the chance to fulfil her dream, so on Wednesday her widow Stuart appeared on the ITV show to pay tribute to his wife.

Stuart Scarbrough and Bowel Cancer UK chief executive Deborah Alsina were interviewed live on air by hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about Katie's passion for raising awareness of cancer in young people and her Team Katie fundraising account, which has so far tipped the £16,000 mark.

Stuart told Philip and Holly his brave wife "fought it (cancer) the best she could" and described her as a "loving person who had time for everybody".

When the former British junior ice skating champion, originally from Gilnahirk, was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year she started a blog for her children Sam (8) and Sophie (4).

In one entry, shared with 73,000 readers, Lichfield-based Katie wrote a bucket list of things she wanted to see happen before she died, one of which was to sit on the This Morning sofa.

Another was to feel the sun on her skin at the beach with Stuart and the children before her life ended.

Now, just one final bucket list wish remains, for Stuart's brother Scott to marry his partner Andrew.

"It's the last thing on the list, so it's over to them!" Stuart told the Belfast Telegraph last night.

"We spent the Saturday before Katie died on the beach at Weston-super-Mare watching the kids playing on the sand.

"This Morning was something she always wanted to do, but she was too ill to do it. I've never been one for the limelight, but when we got another offer for me to come on I knew she would want me to do it to raise awareness and promote her blog.

"Getting messages of support from all over the world helped Katie," Stuart added. "She counselled the families of cancer patients and patients themselves. She always wanted to help people and put others first."

Katie's Ice Gala, first held at Dundonald Ice Bowl in March, will be an annual event and Stuart will visit Northern Ireland next month to arrange setting up a charity trust in his late wife's name.

Naturally, he misses her terribly.

"Life has been hectic," Stuart said.

"After the funeral, there was a big gap, Katie wasn't there, I wasn't at the hospital all the time, so I took the kids on holiday and the Thomson reps really spoiled them.

"The kids left me on my own to deal with things and we've just been carrying on day-to-day life. They are very strong and are coping remarkably well. When Katie was dying we didn't try to hide anything from them and that seems to have been the best way to deal with what was happening."

Bowel Cancer UK was inundated with calls following Stuart's appearance on This Morning.

For more details visit www.katiescarbrough.co.uk

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