Katie and Kirstie inspire Tarka Trail walkers
09:35 16 October 2013
TWO inspirational young women stepped out in support of organ donation on Saturday – just weeks after undergoing lung transplants on the same day.
Cystic fibrosis sufferers Katie Gammon, 15 from Barnstaple and Kirstie Tancock, 24, from Honiton were part of a 100-strong charity walk along the Tarka Trail in Barnstaple.
It was the third annual event Katie’s family have organised in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and to raise awareness of organ donation. Money from this year’s event will also go to the Caroline Thorpe Ward at North Devon District Hospital, and to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Katie underwent her transplant.
The Park Community School pupil was too poorly to take part in last year’s walk.
But it was all smiles on Saturday as Katie managed to complete most of the five-mile walk surrounded by school mates, family and friend Kirstie.
She said she was amazed by how many people had taken part in the event.
“It’s brilliant and it really means a lot to me,” she said.
Katie’s mum Angie Hart said: “It was so nice to have Kirstie here. Katie and Kirstie have followed each others’ journeys and have kept in contact and we were delighted she was able to come.”
Kirstie, who underwent a second transplant this year after suffering from chronic rejection the first time round, said she was recovering well.
“Katie is incredible,” she said.
“Having had two transplants myself I know what it’s like, and for a 15-year-old girl I can imagine it’s extremely tough.”
Stepmum Tracey Gammon said: “Katie did really well and managed to walk most of the way. Her friends were there to give her a push in her wheelchair when she needed it.
“It was very inspirational to have Kirstie there and great for Katie to meet someone else who has gone through the same thing.
“And we are extremely grateful to everyone who helped out and took part. We had so much support and we couldn’t have done it without you.”
The family have now appealed to everyone who took part to hand in their sponsorship as soon as possible and help them to reach their £3,000 target.