A COURAGEOUS Carnegie Swimming Club member hopes to be an inspiration as she makes a splash for charity.

Katie Pake, who was 14 in February, has decided to cover her age in kilometres in the pool as part of Swimathon 2022, which supports Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Taking place at more than 450 venues across the UK over the weekend of May 6-8, or at any time, at any venue, between April 29 and May 15, it is set to attract around 25,000 people to take part.

Katie, who will carry out the challenge as part of her training schedule with Carnegie, hopes to inspire others to take to the water while raising funds and awareness for the two charities.

After complaining that a sore knee was affecting her swimming, a visit to her GP in 2017 presented Katie and her parents, Carol and Grant, with a devastating diagnosis of osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer in children across the UK.

She was given just a 20 per cent chance of survival after intensive chemotherapy failed to eradicate the tumour, which was then discovered had spread to her thigh and spine.

Although a new type of treatment 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 S3 Auchmuty High School pupil had to undergo an eight-hour operation to amputate the limb.

Before the life-saving operation, which saw doctors remove the middle section of her right leg, and reattach her foot and ankle, back to front, to create a new knee joint, Katie wrote “please recycle” on her leg, in the hope that the cancer tissue could be used in medical research.

In 2018, she completed her treatment and was given the all-clear, before receiving a new prosthetic leg just over a year later, allowing her to walk and swim unaided again.

Since then, Katie has raised thousands of pounds for charity, and was named as the STV Children’s Appeal Child of Courage at the Pride of Scotland Awards 2020.

“Carnegie Swimming Club have been an amazing support to me through my training, helping me set goals and supporting me at swimming competitions,” she said.

“The club and my fellow swimmers don’t see me as anyone else but Katie.

“I want to inspire others to take to the water and challenge themselves. Cancer and having a prosthetic leg doesn’t define me, but it makes me more determined to be my best in my chosen sport.”

Proud mum Carol added: “She has a great relationship with Cancer Research.

“Swimathon’s important to us, and it’s important to her because, again, swimming has been her saviour throughout her cancer journey.”