'Amazing' Corby mental health champion smashes fundraising target despite terminal cancer diagnosis

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She received a terminal oesophageal cancer diagnosis in 2019

Supporters and friends of a Corby woman living with terminal cancer have helped her smash a bucket list fundraising target for a mental health service that has helped her over the years.

With help from her local and pub staff and regulars, Kate Howton doubled her £5,000 goal, and this week surpassed a £10,000 fundraising target for Mind in Corby.

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Despite receiving a terminal oesophageal cancer diagnosis in 2019, Kate set out to raise money to support the service that has helped her mental health

Kate Howton with fundraisers from Harper's BrookKate Howton with fundraisers from Harper's Brook
Kate Howton with fundraisers from Harper's Brook

Taking on sponsored challenges including indoor skydiving, horse riding, and a head shave, Kate’s efforts were boosted after James Shields, of Harper’s Brook pub in Oakley Vale joined forces.

Kate said: “£5,000 was my target and it took me about three years, then I met James and all the staff.

"I think seeing everybody get involved has kept me going. We are now on £10,000 and I want to get to £15,000.

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“I’m on palliative care. There’s no more they can do for me. I can only eat pureed food but on the plus side I’ve got help and support from the community.

Kate Howton still enjoys a pintKate Howton still enjoys a pint
Kate Howton still enjoys a pint

"The locals have come up with the fundraising ideas – it’s absolutely amazing. I’ve had a lovely time but it’s not just about the money, it’s my therapy and helps me socialise. I’d be lost without the support. I’m as happy as I can be, they are like family and I make the most of every day.”

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Kate's inspiring journey began in 2019 when she received the devastating news of her terminal cancer diagnosis. Despite beating some incredible odds and being given the all-clear, she faced another devastating setback when her cancer returned in 2022 with a terminal prognosis.

She says she has been given ‘months’ but is determined to raise as much as possible for Mind in Corby.

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Fundraising events have been held at the pubFundraising events have been held at the pub
Fundraising events have been held at the pub

Kate said: “Mind has helped me through. It’s been a godsend. When I was told I had a year, the staff and clients helped me. The fundraising has helped with my mental health. I’m a little bit proud of myself. “It’s got other people interested in fundraising too and its got people to talk about mental health.”

Assistant manager James and five others are due to take part in a 5k inflatable fun run. A ‘silent’ auction will be held at the pub on on May 27 from 5pm followed by a disco and karaoke night from 9pm.

James said: “Her positivity is amazing, her attitude to everything she just lights up a room. She’s an amazing and selfless person.”

Dion Hunt, business development director for Mind Northamptonshire, said: “She’s inspirational. The money raised will go to Corby. It will make a difference. Kate's unwavering spirit and resilience continue to inspire everyone around her.”

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Pub regulars and staff want to reach £12,000 for Kate's fundraiser for Corby MindPub regulars and staff want to reach £12,000 for Kate's fundraiser for Corby Mind
Pub regulars and staff want to reach £12,000 for Kate's fundraiser for Corby Mind

Kate added: “I get my bad days but I know that I can get through that and the next day will be better. I always say ‘onwards’ – keep going.”

Visit Kate's GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/corby-mind.

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