Congratulations to Katy Gillibrand who has been presented with a special award “Against All Odds” at SEIB Trailblazers Championships 2018 by title sponsor SEIB Insurance.
SEIB’s Inaugural Un-Sung Hero Awards are the brainchild of SEIB’s Nicky Mckenzie, overwhelmed with the unprecedented response from competitors the judges were immediately prompted to choose a third winner.
Katy has truly battled “against all odds” to compete at this year’s championships and was nominated by her mum Sue Hegarty. Katy was very much looking forward to qualifying for SEIB Trailblazers Championships 2018, but late last year she became very poorly. Following many tests Katy was diagnosed with advanced secondary cancer – without anyone being aware that she had primary cancer.
Diagnosed as a cancer of unknown primary, as such was not curable and specialists were unable to locate. It was hoped that the gruelling treatment would at least halt or slow the progression of the cancer. On the Friday before Christmas 2017, Katy started her treatment, 8 hours of intenser chemo every three weeks.
Not to be deterred, Katy began training as soon as she began to feel better, through the colder months wrapped in layers of clothes and woolly hats to cover her thinning hair – she never gave up. Her horse Co Co and her son Donta helped, and gave her the strength and incentive to get up in the morning.
Katy tirelessly entered and competed at each of her Trailblazers qualifiers, she achieved her goal, through her hard work, inner strength and gritty determination and qualified for this summer’s championships.
The battle with her cancer is ongoing but for the moment it is under control and the symptoms have subsided. Katy is strong, brave and dedicated – ‘against all odds’ she thoroughly deserves her place at this year’s SEIB Trailblazers Championships.