Katie Gorwits Hikes the Scottish West Highlands in Memory of Amy Gorwits

Katie Raised $1650 dollars for AMY’s Dream and the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign. Here is her story. 

This past September Katie embarked on the toughest physical challenge she has ever set out to do, the Scottish West Highland Way (WHW). The WHW is a 96 mile (154 Km) route from Milngavie to Fort William, taking in a huge variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains! Yes you read right, I am going to walk this in 7 days!

To some individuals this would be their idea of a nightmare – why would you want to walk that far? Oh … you call that a holiday? You find that relaxing? I have been asked these numerous questions and many more over the past few months whilst planning the walk, but to be honest I can’t wait to get my hiking boots strapped on and start walking.

Walking over the past few years has become my passion. I find it ‘a breath of fresh air’ and an escape from the busy world that we find ourselves in. The fresh air(quite literally), stunning scenery and sense of adventure brings out the best in me. I not only find it relaxing and calming being in the great outdoors, but more than anything helps reset me when I need it most, which I have found great comfort in this year.

So, the great big question is why am I fundraising to walk the WHW if I can’t wait to do it? Earlier this year I lost my beautiful, brave and kind hearted step-mother, Amy Gorwits to Melanoma Cancer. Amy fought so bravely and with such positivity for 3 and a half years against this cruel disease, but sadly passed away on Monday 22nd January 2018. She was surrounded by her nearest and dearest, but most importantly with the love of her life, my father and her beloved dog, Sybil. Regrettably I did not get to say goodbye to her as I was due to fly out to see her the following week for what I knew would be the last time, but I take great comfort in knowing that both her and my father were heavily supported during this difficult time by her closest friends, family and Dr Anna Pavlick at NYU Langone Medical Centre in NYC who treated her. 

Those who knew Amy knew she was a tough cookie and didn’t let her illness stop her in her to day-to-day activities. She continued working throughout her treatment,had a busy social calendar and also actively took part in medical trials not only for her own treatment, but to also help advance research within this field and to one day save others from this horrible disease. She taught me above all to love, care for others, be honest, kind, thoughtful, patient and considerate to everyone in the world. All of her life she put others before herself and I aspire to be half the woman she was.

So,in answer to my question earlier, I am walking the WHW in honor of Amy Gorwits and for the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC), based in Long Island,New York, USA. I hope that Amy would be proud of me and in doing so that I can help bring more awareness to the dangers of Melanoma Cancer and help those affected in what I have been able to call my second home and Amy’s home, Long Island, New York.

Recently,Amy’s friends and family took part in a sponsored walk in aid of CCMAC and raised over $7000 – a mind blowing amount! I am aspiring to raise a £1000, working out at around £10 a mile. Any spare cash would be greatly appreciated and fundamentally  help towards beating a cruel illness that affects everyone worldwide, Cancer.

Thank you in advance to my fantastic partner, James who has supported me from day 1 and shall be accompanying on the walk. But, also to all my amazing family, friends and family friends, you know who you are and together we can help beat this!