A COURAGEOUS schoolgirl who lost her leg to cancer is one of 11 “awe-inspiring” Scots to be recognised nationally last week.

Katie Pake, who is a member of Carnegie Swimming Club, featured in the inaugural Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards 2020, in partnership with TSB, which celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

The inspirational 12-year-old has raised thousands of pounds for charity after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer in UK children, in June 2017.

Now, thanks to her tireless campaigning, fundraising and raising awareness of childhood cancer, she has been chosen as the STV Children’s Appeal Child of Courage and was shown receiving her award on Thursday.

Katie’s parents Carol and Grant had taken her to the GP after she complained that a sore knee was affecting her performance in the pool, only to be given the devastating diagnosis.

Intensive chemotherapy failed to eradicate the tumour, which was then discovered to have spread to her thigh and spine, and doctors told her parents that there was just a 20 per cent of survival.

Although a new type of chemotherapy did manage to clear the cancer from her thigh and spine, it didn’t work on the tumour in her leg, meaning that the brave youngster had to undergo an eight-hour operation to amputate the limb – just two days before her 10th birthday.

Before the life-saving operation, Katie wrote “please recycle” on her leg, in the hope that the cancer tissue could be used in medical research.

Doctors removed the middle section of her right leg and reattached her foot and ankle, back to front, to her thigh to create a new knee joint.

The op, known as rotationplasty, has made it easier for her to wear a prosthetic limb.

Katie completed her treatment in March 2018 and was given the all-clear with no sign of cancer.

From her first prosthetic leg in August of that year, she graduated from a wheelchair to a walking frame and then crutches.

In September 2019, Katie received a new prosthetic leg and can now walk again – and swim – unaided.

As well as supporting causes such as Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie, and encouraging others to do so, she is also an ambassador for the children’s cancer charity, Love Oliver.

Sports-mad Katie – who also plays football for Raith Rovers and takes part in wheelchair racing – takes off her artificial leg to swim, and has gone on to win gold meals at both the junior, and senior, Scottish Disability Sport National Swimming Championships.

In the show, which will be broadcast on STV, viewers will watch Katie becoming overwhelmed with emotion when she was surprised with her award by one of her favourite artists – Texas lead singer Sharleen Spiteri – during an exclusive tour of Abbey Road Studios.

Earlier this year, while encouraging others to sign up for Swimathon 2020 – the world’s biggest annual swimming fundraiser for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie – Katie said: “I feel free when I’m swimming and I love it.

“I’ve made some great friends since starting at Carnegie Swimming Club.

“The coaches are brilliant and have helped give me confidence and get my strength back after cancer.”