Braving daily dip in North Sea to raise funds for charity
A woman from Whitley Bay braved the cold conditions of the North Sea every day to raise money in memory of a friend.
Katherine Davis braved temperatures as low as 7.5C as she waded into the sea every day in December, donning a different hat each time.
She is raising money for Brain Tumour Research to help fund research into the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.
The cause is very close to Katherine’s heart since she and her husband Colin, lost their good friend Lee Patterson to a brain tumour last November.
Lee, also from Whitley Bay, died aged 51, leaving behind his wife Kathy and their three sons William, 23, Thomas, 22 and Michael, 20.
Katherine said: “Lee had been unwell for a short time and had been back and forth to the doctor to try to get a diagnosis.
"He was being treated for vertigo when, one day in mid-September, he collapsed at home and was taken to A&E.
"He was put into an induced coma.
"His family was told he had an inoperable brain tumour and he died shortly after his diagnosis on November 10.
“His death was just so tragic and I can’t imagine the pain Kathy and the boys are going through. My heart breaks for all of them.
"Lee and Colin were golf partners. He was such a funny, intelligent and entertaining man, who is sorely missed.”
Katherine was fully submerging up to her shoulders, wearing only a swimming costume and a different hat every day of her endeavour.
She said: “Some days I’m swimming and other days I am just getting in and out but I tend to spend at least ten minutes in the water.
“It’s hard to explain how it feels when you submerge; it’s as much a mental challenge as a physical one but in a strange way, I love it!
"When the cold hits you, it takes your breath away but it is so invigorating.”
Katherine, a mum-of-two, who works for HMRC, added: “I’ve worn a Goofy hat, cowboy hat, skateboarding helmet and a red trilby, to name just some of them.
"I wore my Brain Tumour Research pink Santa hat on Christmas Eve and a Mrs Claus outfit, complete with hat, on Christmas Day.
"My family and friends have been generous enough to lend me an array of headwear to help me complete my challenge.
“Getting into the water as temperatures start to plummet has been hard but I wanted this to be genuinely challenging.
"My physical pain is nothing compared to the emotional pain our dear friends are going through and this is my way of showing them my support at this truly dreadful time.”
Joe Woollcott, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were so sorry to learn of Lee’s passing and send our sincere condolences to all of his loved ones.
“We are so impressed by Katherine’s heroic challenge.
"Like so many of our fantastic fundraisers, Katherine isn’t letting lockdown get in the way of her efforts, at a time when charities are shouldering the burden of lots of large fundraising events being cancelled, due to the pandemic.
"We are truly grateful to her.”
To donate via Katherine’s fundraising page, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Katherine-Davis10