Kate Donaghy sets running challenge

HAPPIER TIMES. Steve and Kate Donaghy with their twins Olivia and Michael. Steve passed away in 2015 and now Kate is raising awareness for widows. Photo: supplied.

HAPPIER TIMES. Steve and Kate Donaghy with their twins Olivia and Michael. Steve passed away in 2015 and now Kate is raising awareness for widows. Photo: supplied.

LOSING a loved one to cancer is a difficult journey too many people have to endure, but a Mount Isa woman is doing her bit to help make the process a little easier.

After her husband lost his battle with stomach cancer a little more than two years ago, Kate Donaghy is bravely raising awareness for the unheralded cause of supporting widows with the challenging task of getting on with their life.

Ms Donaghy is like many who have found love in Mount Isa.

In 2007, her first year as a teacher, Ms Donaghy met Steve - who worked at the copper smelter as a boiler maker.

They got married and started a family.

Kate does the hard yards up the hills of Mount Isa.

Kate does the hard yards up the hills of Mount Isa.

They had twins in 2011, but only a few years later, their lives took a tragic twist.

Steve was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer on August 5, 2014.

He passed away a little over seven months later.

For Ms Donaghy, she found the support during the cancer process was helpful, but once Steve passed away, there was a void.

"I found there was minimal support for widowed people," Ms Donaghy said.  

"There are plenty of organisations and initiatives for dealing with things like cancer, but unfortunately the support for the aftermath is limited."

In June 2016, she travelled to San Diego to attend Camp Widow.  Where over a weekend the program provides both practical tools and relevant resources for widowed people to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the death of a spouse or partner.

It was here where she met other widows from Australia who are the founding members of First Light Widowed Association.

It's the first of its kind as a Not for Profit organisation, solely dedicated to widowed people.

After realising there was support in the form of this little-known, fledgling organisation, Ms Donaghy's desire to raise awareness for the organisation to support widowed peoples has culminated in setting herself another challenge.

Kate with her twins.

Kate with her twins.

 On July 1, Ms Donaghy will be running 10km at the Gold Coast Marathon to raise money for FLWA.

"I really want to help support other widowed people around Australia to get the support they need by networking with other widowed people," she said.

"I've never run 10 km before, and I hate running.”

But she said she had always been a netballer so she was looking forward to the challenge for a cause she knew was extremely worthwhile and vitally important.

"Being widowed and the grief that comes with it is incredibly challenging and exhausting to say the least,” she said.

Ms Donaghy knows her late husband will be with her every step of the way as she runs the 10km race. 

"This is a very new organisation and I want to help them connect widows, provide programs and a safe support network so they don't have to feel alone," she said.

"I also want to run as it is a challenge to me, and something I know my late husband would be incredibly proud of."

To help support Ms Donaghy is her quest to raise funds and awareness for FLWA, visit: https://gcam2017.everydayhero.com/au/10kayz4kate or alternatively there are three donation tins located around town in local business; Caffeine Nook, wiZZamakiZ, and Sanctum Skin and Spa retreat.

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