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Contact Magazine Article

Issue 33

Date Winter 2006

Theme Supportive Care

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Inspirational Katrina proves life is for living

Trying to pin down Katrina Batham to have a conversation about a possible article for Contact or even to discuss the photographs and her story is a bit like trying to board an express train hurtling through a station. Having had perhaps more drama and trauma in her life than many people three times her age, Katrina is certainly now making up for it and living life to the full. Her story is truly inspirational.

Now 31, and having survived cancer three times, Katrina can hardly believe her luck as she tries to keep up with her twin daughters, Freya and Clarissa. Katrina was first diagnosed with a Wilms Tumour in 1990 at the age of 16. Her treatment at that time was successful but it returned again in 1998 while she was working at Luton Airport and featuring on the TV reality show Airline. The viewers all shared her struggle. The cancer returned again in 2000, while Katrina was working as a model. Although the last treatment was the most straightforward, it was very hard to cope with psychologically. Treatment over the years had involved chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery in which Katrina’s kidney, spleen, half her diaphragm and part of a lung were removed. She also had the added worry of possible early menopause and the fact that she could be infertile as a result of the treatment. Her wedding was also shared with Airline viewers but, not surprisingly, the fact that they may never have children cast a shadow over events.

Discovering that she was pregnant and then that she was expecting twins was something that Katrina never expected to experience. Initial concerns about her health and whether she would be able to cope with pregnancy proved unfounded, but the worry was not to end there. Freya and Clarissa were born prematurely and Katrina and Julian spent a very anxious time waiting to bring their daughters home. This they eventually did at the age of six weeks but the worries were not over, with both babies having had serious health problems during their first year. Sleepless nights may be hard to cope with but they were a wonderful reminder to Katrina and Julian of the two daughters they thought they may never have. The girls are now thriving. They have different personalities and they love being together and playing together. For Katrina, the girls and everything else that she has managed to accomplish during and since her treatment for cancer are absolute proof that life really is for living.

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