Real Lives: Katy Sutherland was inspired by her mum’s approach to brain cancer

Katy 1

​Katy Sutherland has gathered a team of 35 runners to complete the River Ness 10k in September in memory of her mum Jackie

15th August 2017 by Georgina Harris 0 Comments

On 24th September I’ll be running in the River Ness 10k with a team of 35 others in memory of my mum, Jackie.

In February my mum passed away at the age of 52 after being diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain tumour, in 2013.

She went through two rounds of surgery as well as gruelling courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat it, and was responding well and fighting on. Only three per cent of people who are diagnosed with glioblastoma are expected to live for more than three years, but my mum was looking set to defy these odds.

However, she suddenly suffered  a stroke and was told her tumour had returned, with a prediction of six months to live.

She was really amazing and never once gave into defeat. She referred to the tumour as an inconvenience and was determined that it wouldn’t get the better of her.

I genuinely believe that her attitude alone gave her extra time and she was adamant that she wasn’t going down without a fight. 

Jackie and Katy

Jackie and Katy

At her funeral the church was packed with over 500 people who came to pay their respects, which shows what a special lady she was to so many people. Some of them even stood out in the pouring rain throughout the service.

In April, I decided to set up the Jackie Sutherland Memorial Fund to support The Brain Tumour Charity and try and improve the lives of others affected by brain tumours. I’ve already raised £22,500 and I want to keep fundraising for the charity in memory of my mum.

Our team of 35 people will be running in the River Ness 10k, wearing special shirts to commemorate my mum. People have been really keen to take part and we have family, friends and some of my colleagues, who are all of mixed abilities, running and walking the course.

The Brain Tumour Charity is completely reliant on voluntary donations to keep working towards doubling survival rates and halving the harm caused by brain tumours, which would help so many families.  

Losing someone you love is hard, but watching someone you love lose each of their senses over a cruel six-month period when all you could do was hold her hand, smile, and tell her how amazing she was and that things were going to be okay was awful. I have never felt so useless.

I hope that further research and understanding will prevent families in the future from losing a loved one too soon to this horrendous, debilitating disease. 

The team has an online fundraising page and entry for all races in the Loch Ness Marathon is now open.