AN INSPIRING member of Carnegie Swimming Club has been shortlisted for another accolade after excelling in sport while raising thousands for charity.

Katie Pake is one of five nominees for the 'Young Scotswoman of the Year' prize in the 2020 Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year awards.

One of the Press' sister titles has been celebrating female achievement since 1963 and the courageous 13-year-old has been shortlisted for the prize, which is open to girls and young women aged between 12 and 21.

In June 2017, Katie's parents, Carol and Grant, took her to her GP after she complained that a sore knee was affecting her swimming, only to be given a devastating diagnosis of osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer in children across the UK.

After intensive chemotherapy failed to eradicate the tumour, it was then discovered to have spread to her thigh and spine, and doctors gave her just a 20 per cent chance 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 brave Katie 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.

The sporty youngster, who played football previously for Raith Rovers, takes part in wheelchair racing and, from this summer, is set to receive classification to compete in discus.

Proud mum Carol told the Press: "What Katie is trying to do is break down the barriers and say, just because you've got a prosthetic leg, just because life's dealt you a fairly bad blow, it shouldn't stop you doing what you want to do.

"She doesn't go out to aspire to be anybody but herself. What she does through the various roles is that she wants to fundraise but she wants to raise awareness, and wants people to know they're not alone.

"Katie just is Katie but, if she inspires others and makes a difference, that's what's important here. It's inspiring others through sport, through fundraising and raising awareness and research.

"Katie was nine at the time, she's now just turned 13. Katie said, 'Mum, I still want to enjoy my childhood, and want to be a child, but what I don't want to do is grow up too quick.

"She's had to mature a lot because of the journey she's been on but she's not going to lose childhood because you're a long time being an adult."

Katie, who takes off her artificial leg to swim, has gone on to win gold meals at both the junior, and senior, Scottish Disability Sport National Swimming Championships.

In August, she was also named in Scottish Swimming's 2020/2021 district regional programme, an initiative which underpins a national programme that aids the development and education of swimmers aged between 11-14.

Katie also took part in the Lebara's Race the World event – British Para-Swimming's first 'virtual' competition – where she reached the finals of both the 50 metres backstroke and 50m butterfly, despite going up against older swimmers.

"Carnegie's been really great. She actually moved swimming clubs to go to Carnegie because of their inclusive approach to swimmers," Carol continued.

"They had some para-swimmers there which Katie felt would help because she continues to be part of the mainstream club and compete in mainstream competitions.

"A year ago at the weekend, she competed at the junior para-championships in Sunderland and she got a bronze medal out of the whole of the UK for her 100m backstroke. It's a shame that the year's gone by because she was getting to her peak of training and beginning to smash her personal best times.

"Those will come back but mainstream swimming's helping, it's been inclusive and Carnegie are very supportive of that.

"It isn't about being the first or being the best, Katie feels it's about 'I've broken down barriers, I'm young, I've got progression and I'm really proud'.

"Katie's got all the support in the world, great strength and determination, and those values definitely epitomise her, how she is with others and how she manages herself.

"We couldn't be prouder of her."

The result of the Glasgow Times Young Scotswoman of the Year will be announced on April 29.