Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Struggling to Cope after Fundraising Heroics.But Running to Help Others

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Struggling to Cope after Fundraising Heroics.But Running to Help Others

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Retter Reporter

SHE raised hundreds of thousands for a man she had never met and transformed the life of mugging victim Alan Barnes.

But Katie Cutler's astonishing act of kindness has, in the cruellest twist, turned the 22-year-old beautician's own life upside down. Good things should happen to good people, but she reveals her family is now struggling financially because of the time she dedicated to fundraising.

And the publicity has triggered malicious online abuse from trolls who call her 'fat'.

"I don't regret what I did at all - I have been able to help change people's lives. But it's been a struggle," she admits.

"People don't realise I had a successful beauty business before. I set it up at 18. But I haven't been able to work doing all this. Clients have stopped coming back because I messed them around cancelling appointments. A lot of people assumed I'm not doing it any more.

"It's been hard. I'm behind on loan repayments, I got a fine for not paying our water bill, we've had to cancel our internet and I have to be careful with shopping. Running the home has become a struggle." And the trolling she has received has been crushing.

"After I helped Alan I got called some horrific things. I tried not to read them but I've always been self-conscious about my weight," she admits. But Katie has taken the trolls' negative comments and turned them into a positive. She decided to lose weight - not for the trolls, but for her health and con-fidence. And to that end is taking part in the Great North Run this Sunday, which she is using to fundraise for good causes.

"People were being cruel about my appearance. But they made me look at myself. I put weight on after I had my little girl so I decided to do something about it."

Now she's looking forward to joining 57,000 others on the 13.1 mile route as she makes her debut in the famous half marathon.

"I've had to buy new trainers because I haven't done any exercise for three years. …

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