Our girl, Katie brought us joy, love and happiness for almost 24 years. Losing her was the most devastating tragedy for all her family and friends, the ripples of pain spreading far and wide. Her struggle with mental illness was hidden from most, she felt, for a long time it was a weakness rather than an illness, and did not want to be labelled. As her illness advanced she realised that she had to accept her condition and speak out, which she did with great courage in her blog (see a Traveller Returns..). Katie had great plans for the future. Her compassion for others led her to seek study for a degree in psychology to enable her to help others struggling with depression and related mental illnesses, sadly this devastating condition overwhelmed her and she lost her battle on 30th May 2017.
For Katie climbing was her safe haven. Her happiest times were spent working out the wall or boulders, at these times she could be totally present, free from the mind attacks which were crippling her at other times. Now the miracle that is Katie has evolved and even though she is no longer physically present, the launch of ‘Climbing Out of Depression’ is born, fulfilling her wishes to help others through their difficult times.
The stigma attached to mental health needs to be finally crushed, and treated in the same manner as any other physical illness. Please support the charity in whatever way you can. Hopefully in time, this service will be available at other centres and may even be available nationwide.
We cannot express in words our gratitude to Be Fuller who initiated and proposed the charity. Her dedication and determination is truly heroic, also to George and all the family for all their love and support. Finally big thanks to White Spider, all the team and supporters for making this happen. The Kemp family are honoured to be part of this amazing project.
Tricia Kemp, Katie’s Mum