Katie first discovered mindfulness as she struggled to come to terms with the impact of her sister’s husband Paul being diagnosed with a low-grade astrocytoma at just 30 years old, when her sister Emma was three months pregnant with their second child. Shocked to discover that there was no UK based research into this type of brain tumour, she was determined to raise money to find a cure, and to offer support and hope to other families experiencing the same challenges of living with this slow-growing but terminal form of cancer. Paul died in 2006, age just 35, but the charity continues to fundraise, campaign for change, and offer support to those living with this challenging form of cancer.
Katie’s original career was at BBC Television, including being the Researcher for the team who won a BAFTA for the children’s documentary series ‘Ipso Facto’, so with no previous charity experience Astro Brain Tumour Fund began as the first umbrella group within what was then the Samantha Dickson Research Trust (now The Brain Tumour Charity). She soon became a Trustee of this innovative national charity, later taking on a part-time role to run their Northern office in Bramhall, Cheshire, and leading their support services for low-grade brain tumour patients and caregivers.
Katie was recognised for an ‘outstanding’ contribution to charitable and social causes by being Highly Commended in The Beacon Fellowship Award for New Initiatives 2007 (now The Beacon Collaborative). She was also invited to contribute as a Patient Representative to the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) Advisory Group from 2008-2011, working with the Government’s Cancer Action Team on developing new NICE clinical guidelines for rare brain tumours.
In 2009 Katie moved from the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust to become Chair of the Board of Trustees for Astro Brain Tumour Fund, as they transitioned to become an independent registered charity. This gave her the space to study for her PGCE and MA Education whilst teaching nutrition at University of Worcester and Lamberts Healthcare, gradually beginning to teach mindfulness from 2011.
It wasn’t until January 2018 that she moved back into a salaried role within the brain tumour community, this time into a part-time role as Research Manager for the fast-developing Brain Tumour Research charity, before finally retiring from the Astro Brain Tumour Fund Board of Trustees in January 2019.
Throughout this time her mindfulness work continued to build, and when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, she took voluntary redundancy from Brain Tumour Research in order to focus full time on supporting people through the sharing of mindfulness, the path of practice that has supported her since 2001.
If you have enjoyed the free resources on this website and would like to make a donation to Astro Brain Tumour Fund, your support for this volunteer-led charity would be very much appreciated. Thank you.