A woman diagnosed with cancer during the lockdown is carrying out the Race for Life event in her home town to raise money for charity.
Katie Watson, 47, has committed to taking on the challenge this weekend with her family and two labradoodles by her side.
The Ellon woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in March and had to deal with the aftermath of receiving the difficult news while on lockdown.
Now she has decided to dedicate her time and energy to walking in memory of those who have lost their lives to cancer.
Her fundraising efforts have raised over £800 so far and all the money will be donated to Cancer Research.
The charity was set up to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer – improving the survival rate of cancer patients throughout the UK.
Due to the pandemic, the Race For Life has been cancelled this year, but Katie discovered she could still get involved with the event after stumbling across a Facebook group.
She said: “The Race for Life is cancelled but you can still do it at home, and you can still donate, but you don’t pay anything to join because it’s not an event and there’s no medal.
“I thought I’d go for a 5k walk with my daughter, husband and my dogs to see if I can still raise awareness and donations.”
Katie will do the walk along with her husband Colin, 49 and daughter Annie, 7 – as well as their two dogs Jessie and Bramble.
They were keen to support Katie on reaching her goals, and she has also received support from friends, who will dress in pink on the day and take on their own Race For Life at home.
She said: “My daughter has been digging out all her pink leggings and pink tutus and t-shirts, she’s excited.
“We’re going to leave our home because we live rural and we’re going to walk half the distance so will go 2.5km, have a little drink of water, then turn back and go home.
“I’ve also ordered some medals to give my daughter and we will have balloons at our door at the end. The support I’ve had from my friends is unreal, and they’re all wearing pink and sharing their photos and doing 5k with their families so I’m really excited.
“I’ve asked them to wear pink, have fun, raise awareness and make some memories together.”
Katie was diagnosed in March with breast cancer during lockdown after numerous mammograms, an MRI scan and three biopsies.
She says she struggled with feeling isolated as the hospital corridors grew quieter, and restrictions fell into place.
“You would sit in the waiting room and every seat is 2m apart, gloves were on, masks or on, so you’re maybe not seeing the person.
“You were told to go to certain areas and exit certain doors so it became very isolating.
“I suppose In a normal scenario I would have had my husband with me or best friend, or could meet a friend after for coffee to vent my fears or anguish, but there was none of it.
“I had my nurses round me and they were fantastic.”
Katie is able to self-isolate with her family as she has not received any treatment at present.
And in the meantime, she says her latest challenge is keeping her occupied. She says she has been “overwhelmed” with the support she has raised through her “Katie’s in Pink” cancer research page, which has raised £880.
She said:” I stopped asking people for sponsors and especially with this time of year and climate. I thought it would be great to get to £100 but if I hit £1,000 by Saturday I’ll be overwhelmed.
“I want to spread awareness that you’re not alone, because we don’t have CLAN or Maggie’s to walk into or the Macmillan centre that we can go to, they’re all online.”
She also want’s people to know that it’s vital to seek medical assistance if they are concerned about the health of themselves or a loved one.
She said: “I’m sure there’s many people that might not be getting a diagnosis and are scared to go to the NHS.”
To donate to Katie’s fundraiser, visit https://bit.ly/3eG8BTe.