A CHARITY co-founder who touched the hearts of many readers with her weekly column about the ups and downs of cancer, has died, aged 42.

Kate Butler set up Breast Unit Events with best friend Susie Coleman to create and run fundraisers for Worcestershire Breast Unit, with her pal praising the “incredible legacy” she left behind.

Surrounded by husband Tim and parents Gordon and June, Kate died at home in Worcester on October 31.

“It doesn’t matter how much you prepare yourself, it doesn’t make things any easier,” said Susie.

“I’m just so thankful for having been able to enter her life and for what we have achieved over 10 years of friendship.”

Susie was diagnosed with breast cancer three-and-a-half years before Kate and said she found herself struggling with loneliness, without someone to relate to.

This would eventually lead to her co-founding Breast Unit Events to help alleviate some of the isolation for other sufferers.

“I didn’t want anyone going through this on their own, like I did,” she explained.

“I was in my mid 20s at the time, and I didn’t really have anyone to speak to who knew what I was going through.”

After Kate was diagnosed a few years later, the pair by chance ended up sharing the same consultant and “developed a true friendship because we understood what each was going through”.

They then set up the groundbreaking charity in 2014, which has helped raise crucial funds for the Worcestershire Royal Hospital unit and has inspired countless cancer sufferers.

Kate was re-diagnosed with cancer in December 2016, after suffering severe chest pain, eight years after getting the all clear, aged 32.

Susie went on to say: “I felt helpless in that she had almost overtaken me in terms of her re-diagnosis.

“It was really hard not understanding how she was feeling.”

Kate became known by Worcester News readers for – what Susie described as her “warts and all” column about her re-diagnosis.

She appeared in the paper each week from mid June to the end of September.

“It was always warts and all with Kate,” said Susie.

“She said it how it was. She wanted to give a true and honest account and people could relate to it, I think.

“It was a true insight into how you truly feel when you are given that news.

“It benefited people to be able to read those columns,” she added.

In a heart-breaking final blog post written by Kate on her website, called ‘The one none of us wants to read or believe’ on October 11, she said the “time has come”.

“Unfortunately, we have received the devastating news that my liver cancer is now not controllable, and I have no further treatment options available to me,” she wrote.

“This is likely to come as a shock as I know just a couple of weeks ago I said I was starting a new set of chemotherapy drugs and there was some hope. “I was able to tolerate six sessions of this drug but was told last Friday that my cancer was not responding to it and is now ravaging my body.”

She continued: “Therefore I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been following me.

“I know you will respect my wishes that I now want to spend as much time as possible with my family and very close friends with as much time as I have.”

Going on to speak about her ‘legacy’, she said that she hoped she may have inspired her readers and talked about how cancer had also “brought some wonderful things and opportunities to my life”.

She added she was “so proud of what I have achieved” as a woman with cancer and an awareness raiser and fundraiser.

“I hope I have also made you smile and would like to remind you to be kind always and try and give back where you can. “I can’t tell you what fundraising and awareness raising has brought to my life. It has enhanced and enriched it.”

“So it’s time to say goodbye and thank you and I’m sending my love to all.”

Kate and Susie had a room at Worcestershire Breast Unit named after them, which the former called “one of my proudest achievements”.

Susie said despite everything she “never gave up hope”.

“Me and the girls, we were all thinking: surely she’ll pull through.

“Some people with a stage 4 diagnosis manage to stay on with ‘no evidence of the disease’, as they call it, for quite some time.

“But her liver levels kept rising and it means they can’t function, which leads to liver failure, which is what she got.

She added: “It’s desperately sad. But she stayed very much Kate right up to the end, with her love for life and family and friends.

“I went to see her a few days before and we were taking the mick out of each other. That’s how she was.”

Kate finished her final blog post with: “Please enjoy your life. Don’t have regrets. Don’t put things off.

“Don’t take your health for granted. Time is so precious.”

In her own words: Kate's first column for the Worcester News

Comment: Kate's life was lived to the full