30th July 2021

Kath’s Fundraising Story

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Katherine Lee and Heather Croft have been friends for over 30 years having served together in the Police Force. More than two years ago Heather was diagnosed with lung cancer. Kath decided to turn her love for the outdoors into a fundraiser in honour of Heather – walking Coast to Coast and raising more than £3,500 for our charity.

“I’ve been friends with Heather for many years, we worked together in the police force, and at one point she was my Sergeant. We both retired in October after completing 30 years service. Heather unfortunately had to retire due to being diagnosed with lung cancer.

It was two and a half years ago when Heather was first diagnosed, we have became much closer over this time. We go walking and running together, we both enjoy the outdoors and it a perfect way to talk and keep fit whilst enjoying the fresh air.

This was one of many reasons I took on the Coast to Coast challenge, my love of the outdoors and to show my support to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation after all the help they have provided to my friend.”

Conquering the challenge

“The challenge was a daunting one, taking me from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, covering a total of 192 miles. It was glorious and I was overwhelmed by the support I’ve received, from my relatives to my friends and even strangers, the support has been incredible.

It’s thanks to them that I was able to beat my original fundraising goal of £500, raising a phenomenal £3,840 for Roy Castle Foundation.

And the support wasn’t just financial, I had my parents cheering me on in the first week of the walk, my husband Geoff, took leave from work for the second week to support me. He said that he’s never been prouder of my achievement.

There are so many fine moments from my challenge that I look fondly on, but my fondest moment fell on the day the weather took a turn for the worse when I was walking from Grasmere to Glenridding. Heather, who I did the walk for, joined me that day along with two other hockey friends – we got lost and soaked but we also had a good laugh.”

Hitting the finish line

“Finishing the challenge felt amazing but I did have mixed emotions. I felt sad the experience had come to an end but also happy to give my feet a rest. Despite being emotional, I was really chuffed to have completed the 192-mile walk.

Since retirement I’ve been keeping really active, I love walking, running and open water swimming, I’m even partial to swimming in the sea in the winter, so this challenge was perfect, pushing me to the limits whilst doing something I enjoy.

As an added bonus, I got to give something back to a charity that has shown so much support to Heather during her treatment.”