A huge part of rehabilitation for me was being in a supportive environment with people going through a similar experience. This was instrumental in show me that I could overcome my injuries and it taught me to believe that I could get through this.
So many of you come up to me on the street and share your inspiring stories, and I receive hundreds of letters, emails and tweets on a daily basis from incredible people who have overcome adversity against all odds. It is you that have helped me recover and motivate me. Without your support, I would not be the person I am today.
I also receive a lot of contact from people at the beginning of their journey who once just like me need to know it is possible to find the light in a time of utter darkness.
So I wanted this section of my website to be all about you so we can all benefit from each other’s positive and uplifting triumphs over adversity.
Hi I’m a 20 year old burns victim! I was burned when I was 5 years old I have been bullied right throughout my life I have had just over 300 operations to release scaring and tightness, I heard about you when I was little and you have inspired me and kept me going, if it wasn’t for me seeing someone like me make so much with her life I wouldn’t be where I am today, I am studying nursing for burns children and have a beautiful son at 19 months, I just want to thank you for sharing everything you have been through and showing a scared little girl that life isn’t over that I have scars I wish I could say this to you in person but it’s harder than it seems.. anyway thankyou so much for giving me the life I didn’t think I would have x
Upon reading your book at the beginning of last year (2016) I realised what a strong, courageous and beautiful woman you are both inside and out. To overcome what you have and come out stronger and successful you really are an inspiration to all girls and women. Upon falling pregnant, I read your book whilst pregnant with my little girl and it hit home that I should be teaching my daughter what your book taught me and that women are strong and should never be subject to what you went through. My daughter was born on October 12th 2016 – same birthday as you which I feel is not just a coincidence but a sign! I can’t think of anyone more inspirational to share her birthday with than with you! Well done Katie with all that you do, and keep up the amazing work! xx
Your words and story truly touched me as certain aspects, I can completely relate to and you are an inspiration. My story began when I was 16 years old when I met my ex. I was a naive and impressionable young girl that had not witnessed the dark side of humanity until I met my ex. He quickly became controlling and violent. 13 years later after years of vicious violence, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional abuse, I gained my freedom back 3 years ago. He is currently serving 15 and a half years in prison. 12 of the those years are for the crimes he committed against me. It has been a gruelling but also t wonderful journey ever since. It has definitely had its downs but I’ve also experienced the highs. The taste of freedom, the joy of independence and the zest for life. I am currently writing a book about my journey since I broke free in the hope to inspire others that are in a similar situation to see that life is worth living,it is too short to be someone’s verbal and physical punching bag. Writing my book has not only been therapy for me as it has been quite tough but I also want to save at least one life, help make domestic violence a less of a taboo subject and hopefully make changes to the way it is viewed by the police,media and justice system.
You have the same fighting spirit I have Katie and I truly wish all the health,luck and love in the world to you and your beautiful new family : ) xx
Last July I suffered around 30% self inflicted burns after setting fire to myself. I have self harmed for 8 years and this was something I hadn’t planned. I was bullied at school, college and I tend to spend time alone or with my mum. I was treated in the same burns unit as you were, Katie. I’m lucky to have survived. If you told me this time last year that I would have confidence, happiness and positivity I would have laughed and walked away. But it’s true, strangely I accept my body more since the burns, I guess it’s because I know I can not change them, I can not change the scars so I may as well embrace them! It’s so hard to be confident at home and whilst I’m out. I have people point at me, laugh at me, making their unwanted comments, it tears me apart whenever I go out. I don’t answer phone calls because the last unknown number that rang me just made horrific insults that made me feel like I shouldn’t have survived.
However, since the burns I am more grateful for the life I have. I’ve gone through a lot at the small age of almost 20. The future terrifies me and I worry that no one will ever love me because of how I look. I would love a family but I know it’s not something that can happen for me. I’ve always been left out, ignored or just point blank rejected.
My family are my world, my mum is my rock. I don’t think life would be worth living if I didn’t have my mum.
I still attend the hospital which is almost a two hour drive from home for physio and I recently had my stoma reversed.
You are an inspiration to me and I absolutely adore you. My mum brought me “Start your day with Katie” as a gift and I literally refuse to start my day without you! You’ve inspired me to speak up about what I’ve been through not only just with my burns but with my mental health and abuse.
I have a huge amount of admiration for you as I’m not sure these last 3 months would have seen me through without following your positivity and your journey.
I now have a blog to make people aware of mental health, different, my story and give others hope.
I can’t thank you enough for what you do for society and what an amazing image you are!
Thank you for giving me the courage you had to speak.
I hope one day I can inspire people and help them realise that you can do anything in life if only you believe in yourself and then you’re already half way there.
I’m over 10 months into my freedom from self harm and I’ve never been so happy!
Hi Katie, I was so moved by your story, after suffering two rapes as a young girl I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through as a burns survivor too, sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to pick yourself back up again and I have been there. The journey to recovery again is a long road, one that I am and I’m sure yourself and many others are still going down. I never used to leave my house I was too scared even for visitors. I never travelled on public transpor,t I had no confidence and was on so much medication to sedate me for years! I ended up being hospitalised at my worse, this was 10 years ago, I have gone back to work working for myself now, bought a house and I have now become a mother myself and the love and appreciation I have for my child knows no bounds, after you suffer so much hurt it becomes very hard to trust people again which I’m still struggling to do but this baby and hearing so many positive stories of strength and courage helps you when you have those bad days. (which are now more rare) Thank you and I wish you all the best of luck and happiness in your future X
Wow I have just finished reading your book things do get better. It is amazing!! Every little word in the book makes me think about life in a different way. I suffered a bad abusive relationship at 18 which lead to me being stabbed by my partner. Being such a young age I kept it all in then suffered panic attacks and depression a year later. Still to this day my aniexty is extreme and I needed something to just help me get out of the black hole just for 5 minutes and your book has done that. Thank you so much you’re such an inspiration and I wish you all the best. Incredible woman with such bravery!!
I have a different burns story. I have borderline personality disorder and I was going through some particularly dark times last year when things got so bad that I set fire to myself. I suffered third and second degree burns on my leg, torso, fingers and arm. Thankfully another patient (I was in a psychiatric ward at the time) pulled my nightdress off me and the fire didn’t reach my face. I’m now left with large scars and a very traumatic memory. Seeing your stories has really inspired me to move forward with my life!
Katie, you are such an inspiration. Showing others how to overcome and emerge stronger, more confident, and more beautiful inside and out. Thank you for being so open with your story. You’ve had such a positive impact on so many people.
Hi Katie. I have just finished your book Beautiful Ever After and I loved it. I guess I can relate to you to how you felt after you had your daughter. I have experienced sexual abuse and it’s been a secret I’ve been living with for years. My scars are buried deep within my soul and sometimes it’s all I can think about. But you have taught me that what happened to me does not define me and I am not a victim. I’m a survivor. My daughter is a year old and after I had her I felt like I had achieved some sort of personal goal. I never thought I’d ever have a boyfriend never mind a husband and a beautiful daughter. I was reading your book thinking “That’s how I felt. It’s not just me. There’s other survivors out there. It’s ok to have down days. I won.” I thank you so much for teaching me how to love myself again. I think you are so inspirational. Much love x
Hi Katie, I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing your books, they have helped me through so many bad times in my life. You are a huge inspiration to me because in the last couple of months I have been a victim of 3 separate acid attacks. It has been so hard for me to get my life back on track because I am only 18 but your story helps me to carry on and know that I can get through this. So thank you so much again and keep being the wonderful, amazing person that you are. x
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer at aged 33, I underwent a double mastectomy as well as enduring six sessions of chemotherapy (almost finished!). Just like you, I was the pretty girl in a small town who was never short of male attention, I didn’t have any worries, loved to get dressed up and head out every weekend. However, everything changed last summer when I was diagnosed with cancer and had to face surgery leaving me with two big scars where my perfect breasts used to be. I also had to face chemo and the loss of my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. This has been the toughest part really because it’s so visible. I chose to close myself off from the world, I didn’t want anybody to see me the way I am now. I didn’t want to have to deal with the stares and be labelled as a cancer patient – however, having read your first book recently, I was inspired by your story and your bravery. You faced it head on and got out there. You taught me to be strong and to not lie down but to get out there and Make the most of what I have now. If I hadn’t read your book, I’d probably still be in my pjs lying on couch watching Loose Women feeling sorry for myself. You are amazing x
I’m 22 & I have cerebral palsy, which I was born with. I’ve been a massive fan of you, since you came forward with your story in 2008. I admire you so much, with all the strength you have shown throughout the years since the attack, with over 100 operations, you’ve never once complained about it! You’ve thought like me, with my disability that when people stare at you because you’re ‘different’, it doesn’t mean that your life stops & you hide away because people look at you differently. I’m always watching you on BodyShockers & I love the show – even if some of the people have had some disgusting stuff done! I hope that one day, like you, I find a man that loves me for me & not because I have a disability. I also hope that one day, I can create that beautiful family picture in my head that I’ve dreamed of for so long & looking at how happy you are with Richard & Belle, I hope I’m as happy as you are in the future! Keep smiling Katie, because you’re an amazing inspirational woman, that so many people look up to xxxx
I’m 21 years old and although my physical appearance isn’t disfigured, I live with a chronic invisible illness on a daily basis.
Having read your books, you inspired me to do what I love the most and that is to help others.
I have realised my disability doesn’t define who I am and although there are times when I dislocate and my scars don’t heal well, it’s ultimately just superficial.
Seeing other people happy and positive, despite the adversities they are facing, has made me the person I am today.
When I was diagnosed it would have been easy for me to wallow in self pity and to be honest I did for a little while. But then realisation hit, I was only 18, I have a life I need to live, it may not be clear what quality of life that may be, but today I’m feeling good and I need to help others feel that way.
So this is a message to say thank you, your resilience, empathy and courage has inspired me to do what I love and be proud of the person I am, Disabled or not.
I read your book ‘Beautiful’ and can completely relate to everything in it. I am 22 years old and have recently just got out of an abusive relationship, due to help from the police, after 3 failed suicide attempts. My ex controlled me in every single way, he abused me emotionally, physically and sexually and made me do the most inhumane sexual acts as punishments. He also made me get 3 massive tattoos of his name on my body, one in huge writing across my chest, one down my back from my neck to lower back and one from hip to hip. I know tattoos can be removed but I still have to live with them on my body and I cannot bear to look at myself with his name all over my body like giant scars of my past, and constant reminders of what he’s done to me. Your book has given me the strength to pursue my case with the police and gives me strength and hope every single day that there is a future for me which holds better things. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
I suffered burns In a childhood accident Katie my friend. I now class you as my role model.
I’m a big fan of all your books. My two favourites are Things Get Better and your book with a quote a day. These are my favourites for a reason.
For two years I have suffered from depression and it’s been the hardest two years of my life. Your books on dark days gives me hope that I can recover and keep going. Today I’m a week away from being discharged from mental health services and doing better than I was. Thank you. Xxx
Dear Katie, I’ve just searched your book on my book shelf because following a conversation with a friend about how she is feeling about herself and has for a long time. She suffers from depression and I remember when I was at my lowest my mum gave me your book – Start your day with Katie (365 Affirmations) and I remember taking it with me to my psychologists and she said it would be brilliant for me. My scars are mostly emotional and some self induced. I have always been incredibly fit, played sport to a high level and taught P.E but I gained weight after my first little girl. When she was 1 my hubby was diagnosed with tonsil cancer so I was not on my priority list, after various complications and added health issues my hubby was winning, then I fell pregnant with my second little girl (Erin) from the word go I was sick every second, I had Symphysis pubis and my pelvis split. I was signed off work (teaching) and induced early due to my discomfort but it didn’t stop there. Erin kept vomiting she had reflux and couldn’t keep any milk down, I had to feed her any time of the day or night whenever she needed it but it always came back up. I weaned her very early onto solids as the heavier the food the more likely to stay in her tiny tummy. I walked and walked day and night to try and get her to sleep but she never slept because she was always hungry so this left me exhausted and aggravated my still sore pelvis so that it hasn’t repaired properly, all these and continuing health bouts with my hubby’s suppressed immune system and depression. Having gone back to work & falling and breaking my leg I had adrenaline fatigue, weight gain, depression and hated myself so much!! I felt a failure in all avenues of my life and became bulimic and began self harming. Many health professionals have been there to support me on my long journey but your book was a drive and even some days I took a picture on my phone so I could read my daily affirmation during the day. That is why I have dug it out for my friend too.
You are an amazing and inspiring woman which in some way after reading other books of yours has inspired me. I had to step down from my management position at work as I was having many appointments and needed to reduce pressure, I have been on a weight management program and have now been forwarded to bariatric surgery due to the impact of my weight on my pelvis. I am piecing my life back together and been really brave and recently become an Independent distributor for NuCerity International. These products help people deal with imperfections: scars, wrinkles, skin damage, eczema, psoriasis, skin etc. This is giving back peoples self esteem and it works on my self harm scars, they have gone!! Even set up a facebook page Pip’s Perfect Imperfections. This is not a sell in any way but it is showing you that people can fight back, doesn’t matter what causes their imbalance and I’ll continue to look forward not back. Thank you Katie XXXXX love Pip
On the 1st of March this year my boyfriend of 5 years and baby’s dad attacked me in our home whilst I was holding and trying to protect our son. He had been verbally and mentally abusive for the last 3 years but I loved him and wanted to help him and thought I was doing right by our family, I started believing all the names he’d call me. I read your first book awhile ago and I was amazed at your story and your strength, but I still stayed as never thought he would physically hurt me, he pleaded not guilty in court and so I had to go through a painful trial, in the running up to court I read your next book and it gave me the strength and hope I needed to carry on. Court was horrible but your book had prepared me for how brutal their barristers can be. Thank you for helping me get through the hardest time of my life, I still have a long way to go but the most important thing is that myself and my son are safe and well, and just about to turn 3 he’s finally got the confidence to start talking!! Hearing him say mummy for the first time was amazing. So thank you Katie, you’re an inspiration and unexpectedly have helped me get my life back, you’re an angel x
Just wanted to say what a inspiration you are for burn victims and those that experience trauma in their lives. I think you’ve done really well since your initial incident and really used it positively. I’ve got some scarring myself from a early childhood accident on my arm but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I think it strengthened my character and made me more resilient- all the best.
I was a victim of domestic violence. My husband use to repeatedly hit me, throttle me, smash things over me and once even tried to set my bed on fire. I listened to a talk you gave and you gave me the confidence to finally leave him and start my life afresh. It hasn’t been easy but you definitely kick started the process. You are a true inspiration, thank you.
I just wanted to thank you for your fantastic book I am currently reading – Things Get Better. I was involved in a serious road accident accident on 1st Feb this year, where I was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the road (at a crossing) in London. I am, according to the doctors ‘a miracle’ that I am not paralysed but I have suffered a broken back, fractured skull and many other injuries. I am eventually going to recover but it is going to be a slow process. I have found your book so inspiring and throughout I have tried to ‘stay positive’ but at times it all gets too much at how ‘out of my control’ this whole situation is. The advice you have given has made me feel so much better and also what I sometimes feel has been confirmed that it is ‘ok’ and ‘normal’ to feel that way. Thank you and keep on being such an inspiration.
I suffered really badly with depression and social anxiety and pills didn’t seem to work, it just made things worse. I have always looked up to Katie Piper and how positive she is and bought all her books.
Reading her “Things Get Better” book really made me think and made me go get therapy and now I’m nearly 25 and have beaten it. Positive and confident which I have never been in my life all thanks to Katie Piper and her books.
Katie, I know the chances of you seeing this are small, but I needed to write something, because you give me hope. My story is quite different to yours, and I hope you aren’t offended that I take strength from your story.
I am 25, and have Crohn’s Disease which was diagnosed at 18. Unfortunately, my disease is very severe. In the past 5 years I’ve had over 40 surgeries, I’ve been in hospital more times than I can count. My body no longer feels like my own. Inside I’m missing my large intestine and 2 foot of my small intestine. Outside I have an ileostomy bag, a stomach full of scars, a scar down my leg. My leg also has extensive nerve damage and I can no longer feel it. There isn’t an end in sight. I have to inject myself with drugs to dampen my immune system, every day is a battle and it’s one I’ll have forever.Looking in the mirror is the hardest part of my day. I see a broken, butchered woman, with no end in sight. I know this disease will kill me one day and that feeling, it’s so overwhelming sometimes I can’t breath. I am reminded every day, through the food I have to eat, the drugs I take, the daily pain I feel, of my Crohn’s. Doctors tell me they’re running out of options. There’s a good chance that in the future that I’ll have to be fed by a tube, and because of my disease I am also infertile. At 25, it feels like too much sometimes.
Yet I try. I really do. I see you, and hear your story and it gives me strength to not let the things that happen to me that are out of my control rule my life. It is hard. Unbearably so some days.
After 5 years and a 2 year break I finally qualified as a full time primary school teacher, it’s my dream job. I have been working since September but unfortunately had to have 6 weeks off due to infections after 12 surgeries during the summer. I refuse to give up though. I am lucky, I have an amazing family and a husband that has been by my side and is the greatest man I know. He’s seen me at my worst, yet on our wedding day he still cried and told me I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.
I try and remember it is our choices that define us, not the things that happen out of our control. You help me see that, so thank you. I’ll never be famous, people will never know who I am and I’ll never be rich. However, I hope that I can be happy. That I can accept what has happened to me and continue to build my life around the positives – family, friends, my career. Maybe even one day I’ll adopt a baby, or use a surrogate to complete my little family.
Thanks for making me see the happy in every day. Even though sometimes it’s harder to find than others. I hope this message isn’t too garbled!
I’ll be honest, I have always been aware of your story, seen your gorgeous face in magazines and on TV but that was always as far as it went. Although I did think to myself once or twice ‘I wouldn’t actually mind reading her book’ and you even made it as far as my basket while in WH.Smith at the airport waiting to board my plane off to Barbados but I stupidly replaced you with a certain shades of grey novel! (big mistake)
But it wouldn’t be long before your image would come somersaulting into my mind at the strangest of times!!….
When I sat in Christies hospital being told that I have a tumour they think could be malignant behind my ear. Now of course, my first thought went to my amazing, family, my wonderful boyfriend – they are my entire world. Of course thinking of my family which include two perfect nieces, 7 and 10 who are my little princesses. I focus on them, focus on their cuddles and I know they’ll still love their Auntie Gemma if maybe she looks a little different. I gain an amazing amount of courage from them all!
But as my surgeon went on to explain my scarring, the possibility of having a permanent weakness and dropping of one side of my face it was your face that bought me comfort.
I came away, took it all in. Read up, continued with countless scans and biopsies, throughout, taking great inspiration in you!
As I am sure you’re told on a daily basis. You are absolutely beautiful! You have a warmth about you that is so transparent, knowing after all you have been through and STILL achieve this – gives me great strength!
I am fully aware that when looking at the bigger picture, the main thing is what we’re looking at is a benign tumour – I tell myself “they can do what that want to my face, just don’t let it be cancer….not cancer” The fear doesn’t grab me for my reasons….but for family. I can’t put them through that!
But I’d be lying to say that I don’t find the prospect of my appearance changing terrifying! My boyfriend won’t fancy me anymore, the girls won’t see me as “Pretty” Auntie Gem anymore with their Disney Princess culture, I am customer host of a very prestigious car dealership in Cheshire – mingling with the WAGS of the world, rich and famous alike, how will that work? Will I be moved behind the scenes?
All these questions I battle with you in mind. I almost feel a little silly even telling you all this after your injuries. Hope you don’t think ‘daft girl, that’s nothing compared to what to what I went through’ (even though you’d be right!)
But I just wanted to share my story and for you to know, you are an absolute inspiration to so many people. That’s apparent after reading all the other very brave stories on your page.
Tomorrow is my operation date and I’ll have my results in 3 weeks.
Although I must admit, you never did make it to my basket!…..Didn’t have to. I was bought ALL of your books by my family for Christmas, saved all up for my stay in Christies and 4-6 weeks off!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story with us all.xxxxx
A few years ago when I was 19, I woke up with a condition called Bell’s palsy.. Facial paralysis of one side of my face. I couldn’t blink, smile, frown or close my eye. I’d never heard of this condition but I went straight to my doctor and he confirmed this would heal within around 6 weeks. This was a relief.. 5 years later I still have this facial paralysis. It never healed and I have been in constant pain with nerves in my face and head. Your story always gives me strength! The face is the first thing a person sees, I was a very vain person and this completely knocked my confidence. I am a better person than I was before it happened. It’s mad how things can affect you but instinct kicks in and you realise there are far more important things than looks. You’re a real inspiration.
You are an amazing person with all you have achieved and done.
At 16 I had my child there were a lot of problems and I nearly died. 6 weeks later I was raped from then I went through domestic violence and was in the darkest place in my life. I had to always cover up as My whole body was bruised. One day I said to myself ‘I’ve had enough’ and I got me and my boy out of it. I’ve never felt so alone and depressed I started self harming. After the court case I finally got my life on track. Even though I might not be able to trust anyone yet I’m great for everything I’ve got. Without my son I might still be stuck there! X
I live in the US and happened upon your instagram page after a friend showed me your posting. I figured I would share my story with you and whoever else would like to listen. It will be three years this June that I experienced the worst pain and one of the biggest obstacles in my short 19 years on this Earth. I was in a horrible car accident on June 6, 2012 while I was coming home from a friend’s house. Another driver and I hit head on. The impact caused my truck to catch fire. Three men stopped and pulled me from my burning vehicle. I woke up in the hospital two days later not knowing what had happened. Doctors told me that I had severe injuries to my legs and feet during the accident. I had broken them in several places and would not walk again for a very long time. I also had internal injuries which included a punctured lung and lacerated liver. I underwent nine surgeries and spent a month in the hospital. When I finally went home I left in a wheelchair.. I hated it. I hated going out in public. People would stare, point, and whisper behind my back. I felt like a freak. If I had to leave the house I would either lay a blanket over my legs or wear pants so my casts would be covered. Two months after the accident I went back to the place it happened. I wanted to thank the firefighters and paramedics who worked that night. That’s when I met Ethan. It was September 6, 2012. He was the firefighter who had put the fire out in my truck that night. We sat and talked for a bit and the whole time I noticed he had not once looked down at my legs or my chair. It was like he didn’t even see them. I left the station that day with Ethan’s phone number. We started dating a few weeks later. He pushed me around in that chair for six months. During those six months I didn’t wear a blanket or long pants to cover my casts. For six months I didn’t notice the stares or hear the whispers. For six the entire six months I sat in that chair, I felt normal. All because of Ethan. He got down on one knee on November 5, 2012 and asked me to be his forever and on August 31, 2013 I became a Tyler. Since Ethan and I have been together I have undergone a total of 15 surgeries. My body is covered in scars but I show them proudly now. I regret nothing about the accident. I regret none of what has happened to me in the past two years. I’m actually thankful for that night because if that had never happened, I wouldn’t have met my Ethan. That man has taught me so much these past few year. He taught me to love myself and my scars, all 30 something of them. I love my feet, my legs and scars all because of that man right there. You aren’t a survivor without your scars. I’m proud to be a survivor.
In 2008 a careless driver of an SUV hit me on my bicycle, I now have an incurable, and the highest rated for pain, nerve disease (CRPS formerly RSD, very similar to MS) from my surgeries. It has caused many health problems while I am still very young. Seeing someone like you who is so beautiful and wears her scars so proudly reminds me that giving up is not an option. Whenever I feel down, I watch your show and admire your strength and it is an instant pick me up. There is no time off from this as you have said on your show, and that is so true. Often I want to escape the pain, but I think of people like you that keep going no matter what, and my loved ones, and all that makes the pain bearable again. Thank you for sharing your story and I will be reading your books soon.
Hi, I saw your instagram post about wearing scars with pride and it is lovely to hear that scars should be celebrated not hidden. I have many, many scars from surgeries on my legs and for years put up with insensitivity of some people.
I read all these stories, especially yours, and I can’t believe how brave and strong you are.
I have scars from 10 years ago due to self harm. I’ve made progress by letting more people in and actually going places without covering up. I’m not quite there yet and I feel that whilst people may be more accepting or sympathetic to those who have burns or scars that are not their fault or self inflicted, I can’t help shake the feeling that this would not be the case for someone like me who has created the scars herself. It’s something that my partner continues to support me through this every day, but it’s gonna take time. I’m hoping one day I’ll feel free.
I just came across your story and just have to say how strong and inspirational you are. You are a thoroughly beautiful person! (Excuse my English, It is not my first language )
Three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33 and underwent surgery a couple of times. In no way are these scars comparable to yours, they are not obvious but they are there anyway and at first they were just a reminder of cancer and that I lost part of my femininity. But time is working for us and its amazing to see what we are all able to bear. I just grew stronger throughout this strange journey and it changed me and my life only in positive ways.
I try to see this whole challenge as a chance, made me aware of the way I lived my life. I am still learning to accept change, to leave the comfort zone. It is not easy but it is a good thing. The hardest thing is to learn to trust yourself again and to let go. When I see the scars now they remind me of how strong I am and that I am far stronger than I ever thought.
“We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.” It is never too late…
Hi Katie, I recently saw a picture you added to your Instagram account with the words ‘wear your scars with pride’ you are the biggest inspiration to me, and this picture made me think twice about covering up my scars. In March 2014 my life changed dramatically when I was involved in a serious car accident, I broke my leg, arm, pelvis, hip, spine and neck. I went though 9 hours of surgery to place metal rods and pins into my arm and leg, after a week in Intensive care the doctors decided to operate on my neck too, placing a metal screw into my broken neck to help aid recovery. As well as the scars I have from surgery I also had to have reconstructive surgery to my chin and inside of my mouth, leaving me with a scar over my chin. For weeks after I came home from hospital I found it really hard to leave the house. I soon developed post traumatic stress disorder, at this point I couldn’t look in the mirror even looking at old pictures of myself I’d break down in tears. I started to see a therapist and soon returned to my job in retail but found the looks I’d get from customers very upsetting. I even got a comment from one customer that said it looked like I’d been ‘stabbed in the face and throat’ massively inappropriate! Today was a massive step for me, after seeing your picture and feeling inspired I decided to go to work without covering up my scars with heaps of make up. It made me think about how I feel about them, there not to be ashamed of there to be proud of! I’m proud of my journey and proud of my scars, they show I’m stronger then what tried to beat me. Thank you so much for posting that picture, it’s changed my whole perspective on my scars, and thank you for continuing to inspire others with your amazing charity and kind words. You’re a truly remarkable women, so strong and brave. I’ll definitely be purchasing your new autobiography!! Congratulations on the birth of your little girl and your engagement! I look forward to tuning into body shockers tonight and following your achievements this year.
After reading and watching your television programmes and books, I realised that my operation was nothing in comparison to the operations you have had, so I decided to go through with it. Last year, after a long period of bullying, I went into hospital and was prepared for maxillofacial surgery to fix my face that had previously been a talking point for most people. The operation carried out included breaking my jaw on both sides to allow titanium plates to be screwed into place after the surgeons had pulled my jaw into place with my upper jaw. Of course, I was nervous on the morning of the operation as I was entering the unknown..would my face be ‘fixed’ or would it look even worse? After coming out of surgery, I was transferred to a ward, however I hadn’t seen my face! I spent a night on a surgical ward but still hadn’t seen my face, but after hours of waiting I had the ok to go home..this was when I saw my face! It looked like a football, my face was massive! However after a week, with the help of strong painkillers my swelling was starting to go down. 6 weeks passed and I was starting to look different, the swelling had gone down and my face looked different, but a good kind of different! I visited my consultant and he was extremely happy, and I felt exactly the same! My jaws were in line and my teeth were biting together..I was no longer ‘bugsy’! I’ve recently had my braces removed off my teeth and I can’t describe how I felt after my treatment had been completed…I was totally made up! Thank you so much for inspiring me to go ahead with my surgery!
You are such a strong woman and a great ambassador for all people around the world, your story is a powerful tool that has been used to show how you can choose to fight to live!
It’s so easy for people to let a horrid experience dictate the rest of our lives but you didn’t and have shared with people a share in your adventure!
I’m over the moon you have a beautiful daughter, it reminds me of a medal, it shows just how far you have come.
You’re a truly beautiful person.
I went through an illness where I lost hope and it was always a pick me up to hear of others who turned a horrid experience into a story of truth and hope.
I’m through my battle and got my medal ..my daughter too.
Being a mother is just the best , I know you will agree.
Best wishes Victoria
Hello, my name is Caitlyne. Merry Christmas. For one of my Christmas presents I got your book ‘Things get better’, I’m not much of a book reader but your book has got me glued to it, only started reading it today and oh my, I’m in love with it, its actually so inspirational and so are you! The facts and how you as a person never gave up on what you went through is amazing. When I was 14, 16 now my mum died of diabetes. At first I never knew what to do, I thought my world stopped, thought there’s no way I can get through this, but I did and two years on I’m finding so many ways to deal with it and to make my mum proud, and reading your book makes me feel like a survivor because I am one and so was my mum! Your book now gives me the inspiration to never ever give up on what life might give me. Thank you so much for writing such an amazing book, I can’t wait to read more. Please I hope you read this. You are a hero, a wonderful mum and inspiration to so many people and I bet no doubt your book as saved so many lives. Thank you againHappy new year!
If you have a few moments I would really appreciate you reading my story. I’m writing this because I feel I want to raise awareness for people who suffer from facial disfigurement. Whether they are born with it or have developed one due to a life changing incident in their life. Katie is a true idol to me, to see what she is going through and how strong she is, gives me the courage to live my life regardless of my appearance. I had a wonderful childhood and I have such a wonderful family who have supported me since the day my life changed forever. I was in quad bike accident 7 years ago, I’m 17 now. The day I had my accident will haunt me forever, I look at myself everyday imagining what could of been if I didn’t have my accident. I nearly died that day and I thank god I am alive everyday. In my accident I broke my nose, cheek bone and eye socket on the right side of my face. I had a metal plate put into my face where I had broken my cheek bone, I have no tear duct in my right eye and I have a 9 centimetre scar running down the side of my nose. Fortunately I still have my eye and am extremely lucky to have no problems with it at the moment.These injuries were a result of me falling into a metal gate where I fell head first into a metal spike at the top. I don’t blame anyone for my accident I believe it was case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had countless facial reconstruction surgeries but have not had any treatment in the past few years. I remember seeing my face for the first time. I thought I was a monster and was ashamed of my appearance. Being in my last year of primary school due to go into secondary school that summer I grew my fringe really long and wore it over my face so that people could not see, it felt like a security blanket and it protected me. I got bullied very badly, looking back now I don’t understand how people could of been so cruel, but as a result I became so strong. The day I took my fringe off my face I accepted myself for who I was and was proud to show my face, for I endured something so horrific and was lucky to be alive. I’ve learnt to accept my appearance and believe I am beautiful for everything I have overcome. I look at Katie and find my courage to face the world as she is a strong beautiful women like me who does not allow the events in her life to bring her down but allows them to make her stronger, she is a true inspiration to people like me who live with facial disfigurements. We are all beautiful inside and out.
I have read both your autobiographies which I loved. You are a true inspiration and should be proud of where you have got to today. The way you built your life back up again and started a charity to help others in the same or similar situations is amazing. I also have facial disfigurements due to a health condition I have, which are slowly disappearing as my skin is stretching, I used to get bullied a lot and have people asking me if I got burnt and what happened to me so to read your story has made me want to strive for my ambitions and goals and prove to the people that used to bully me that I am stronger and reaching my ambitions. Just a little request can you please tell me where I can watch your documentary My Beautiful Face and My Beautiful Friends
Thank you and stay blessed
I have always admired you, the way you overcame your dreadful past. I was diagnosed with a long term chronic debilitating illness 10 yrs ago but have never really accepted what I have. Over the last 2 years I became more and more ill but still wouldn’t admit to it. Since July I have been on a new medication and it has changed my life. I know it will never get back to how it was but am certainly able to cope with things better, only problem was my head, it was messed up. I read your book things get better and it was like a light switch had been turned on. If you could cope with all the operations and all the shite you had to go through it made me re think that I could cope too. I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart as without this book I was certainly on the edge of slipping into a very deep tall sided black hole. I am now in a better place and am thinking more positively. This is all down to you helping me. You have not idea how strong you have made me and I am now able to face up to my illness. I am so pleased you are happily married and your little girl is just so beautiful like her courageous and kind caring mother.
I love your book ” Things Get Better” it has helped me so much the last few months. I bought your book a few months ago as I was in a bad place and just felt like I’d hit rock bottom. I suffer from depression and I’m currently on the road to recovery. Your book is just simply beautiful and every word in the book is so relatable. I find it difficult to find a book that I can to relate to but your book was the first one I’ve found explains everything. Your book has taught me that having a blip/setback is okay and has helped me to try and think positively even though it’s hard. You’re just simply an amazing and inspiring lady. You are such a beautiful person and my inspiration. I’m determined to get myself well again and become stronger. My depression doesn’t define me as a person. You deserve the best and you deserve all the happiness in the world. The work you are doing is amazing and you are going to help so many people. I admire you so so much Katie. I remember I spoke to your mum on twitter she’s a lovely lady and she seems to be very supportive of you. I just want to say congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl she’s absolutely perfect. Thank you so much♥ your book helps bring me hope that some day things will get better.
All my love
I just want to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have given me so much courage and hope. You look absolutely beautiful, not just on the outside, but on the inside. You are so inspiring, and I just want you to know, you have really impacted my soul. I have hope because of you, and I am going to be strong. You are just so amazing. Bless you, you’re an angel on earth. I wish you and your family absolute happiness.
I just wanted to say Thank You!!!! I am currently glued to your book ‘Beautiful’ and have been aware of your story and following your progress for sometime – can’t wait to read the follow up!
Today is exactly 1 year to the day I was also raped. Reading your words is like reading back over my own journal from the past year. What has given me the greatest hope of all is your beautiful Belle.
Like you, one of my greatest of all my fears, more than the crippling inability to leave the house or hospital for most of this year and just wanting to physically die, as I too felt I had already died on that very day in that hotel room in the early hours of 16 October 2013 – was that I would never find happiness again and most importantly become a mother. At 33 and with a long way to go with my PTSD, who knows if that will ever be a possibility.
I don’t know that I ever will, but what I do know is that thanks to you I have hope.
I’m from Belgium… I read your book and most of the time I was crying… I recognized a lot of feelings…
2 years ago I had a heavy car accident. It was not my fault, I was a passenger. My friend was driving, didn’t pay attention and hit a tree. He had nothing but my back was broken. I had an operation of 8 hours. Now I have a titanium plate in my back and I can barely move. I was in hospital for a few months and there was a big chance I was crippled for the rest of my life, there was a chance I could never walk again but I was only 19… In the hospital I had one thing on my mind…to kill myself… now 2 years later, I still have a lot of limitations and a huge scar on my belly but I made it through together with my friends just like you… you are my hero Katie. A person is so much stronger than most of the people ever can imagine. I appreciate life more then I ever did before, normal things are not normal anymore, they are special. Maybe we’re happier now than most of the other people, don’t you think? It was a pleasure to read your book and indeed Katie, you’re still beautiful girl!
I’ve just read your book ‘Things Get Better’. After recently beating depression I could totally relate to your words. At 17 I felt depressed and I was in a very dark place. I cried everyday and felt such a pain in my heart, I thought I would never recover. I didn’t think I would ever stop feeling sad or feel like the old happy me again. I hated the person I had become. I knew I had to stop hating myself and accept what I could not change. I accepted my mistakes and moved forward from them. I chose to learn from the past. I also learnt that everybody makes mistakes! Some people can forgive the past more easily. Nobody is perfect. In my dark times I tried to take my own life. Suicide is not the answer. Sometimes we have to remember the people around us love us and want the best for us. I thought I was raising red flags but to those around me it was just a drop in the ocean. They didn’t have any idea how bad my depression had got. I think it is so important to seek help and open up to people about our problems no matter how big or small. If it is a problem to you then it is IMPORTANT! I wanted to say thank you as I shed a tear reading your book and your advice to write things down made me realize how much I have recovered and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how long it takes to get there. It took me 3 years to recover. I am now 20, in a good place and will continue to grow and learn from the past. I am a survivor. You’re my inspiration. Thank you!
Just wanted to say you are an amazing inspiration. Your positivity shines through. I’ve followed your story from the first time you were on TV and remember thinking then, that you would go on to achieve great things, not only ongoing recovery from your injuries. I’ve recently left an 20 year marriage due to domestic violence and am now raising my two children alone. I’m determined to live positively and to be strong. I look forward to reading your book when it’s released.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
But today is a gift
That’s why it’s called the present
You define the meaning of true beauty. Whenever I am having a bad day or am feeling negative about myself I think about your book and the strength you found to overcome your nightmare. You are an amazing inspiring beautiful person and deserve all the happiness in the world. Congratulations on your little girl I’m sure she will grow up to be just as lovely and kind hearted as her mum, she will be so proud of you xx
Hi my name’s Danielle Foster, I am 22 years old and I’m a burns victim. On July 6th 2012 I gave birth to my gorgeous little boy Oscar Owen after a 57 hour labour and a c-section. Three weeks later my life changed when I was in a fire. I was in the kitchen cooking with Oscar beside me and a pan of oil set on fire. In a panic I ran over to the sink to put it out. Little did I know what was about to happen. I turned on the tap and a cloud of fire surrounded me and all I could see was orange. Scared for my son’s life I kept hold of the pan and ran as fast as I could outside getting it as far away as possible. Entering back into my house Oscar was crying but was unharmed. We all exited the house but my burns were clear to see. both arms, legs, chest, face and my hair had been singed on one side. I was taken to Whiston hospital where they did skin grafts up both arms. I was in hospital for 3 weeks and had to have frequent visits to the scar clinic. I am now 2 years later having more surgery and skin grafts to release the scars as the scarring is thick and restricts my movement which is very hard when you have a 2 year old child. My reason for this email is I would love nothing more than to help people like myself who have unfortunately been a victim of a fire or have scars that may affect their life and things they might want to do but feel they can’t. People ask me frequently do my scars bother me and I can honestly say no, but I know there’s people out there who find it hard to show their scars and be proud of them. I want to show them that being scarred or different is just as beautiful as not having them at all. People stare all the time and within my job (hairdressing) they’re there for everyone to see. I’m very open about my story because I believe it will help others to be that way too. They said I wouldn’t be hairdressing again and a year later I proved them wrong. I want to help people have that attitude and to be positive about the way they look and what they can achieve because no one can stop you but you.
Hi, firstly I want to tell you that after admiring you for a long time I decided to buy your book to read on holiday, as some one who suffers from a life time of self doubt and self consciousness I have been able to turn around the way I approach each day. I have a bad case of adult acne and hide completely behind make up of every kind that I can’t afford to keep up with. After reading your book and with support from my boyfriend I have been going out in public with a clean face. Much to my surprise my face has started to clear! I pick out positive things that have happened each day .. you’re a real survivor and your book’s absolutely brilliant!
I just wanted to let you know that your book helped me to stay positive when trying for a baby for a long time, (after suffering a miscarriage and fertility issues).
In October 2013 our little girl arrived and we named her ‘Katie’ after you.
I am so happy to learn you have a little girl now too – congratulations.
Emma x x
I read your first book and I’ve started your second. I just wanted to tell you that I think you are an amazing human being. You are so beautiful inside and out and you are such an inspiration. I haven’t suffered an iota of what you did but you somehow got through your suffering and that gives me faith I can get through mine. I suffer from depression and have for nearly 10 ten years now, I’m only 24 so most my teenage and adult life has been quite dark. I cut my self as a teenager and unfortunately tried to take my own life a little over a year ago. I’ve seen many doctors, psychiatrists, been on medication for the last 2 years but your books and your amazing resilience and your outlook on life have helped me more than words can say. So I just wanted to say thank you for being so amazing and inspiring. Xxxx
Dearest Katie, I can’t tell you how your courage has helped me through very dark times. Over the past two years, I experienced a miscarriage, muscle and fat atrophy of my face (mainly left side and mainly my chewing muscles), and serious skin damage due to a dermatologist whom I trusted giving me a melasma cream she compounded which contained a strong, inappropriate steroid. I look nothing like I did, and it has been a very hard journey that has included jaw surgery. However, I have an amazing support system of family and friends and am slowly finding medical help. I will be coming to the UK to try ReCell skin spray and then fat grafting to try to help my skin. I have been left with dermal atrophy, stretchmark scarring and rosacea. Your optimism and search for regenerative solutions has been inspirational. Thank you for all you do. 🙂
Hi Katie ,
I’ve been meaning to contact you for a long while to thank you for saving me I hope that you get a chance to read this…
A year ago I was in a bad relationship which resulted in my ex partner driving a car with us both inside into a local petrol station, it was a horrific accident but thankfully I received minor injuries I was dragged out of the car and left on a near-by street. After the accident I left my ex and was in an incredibly dark place, I’d lost my home and dropped out of university as I just wanted to hide away. I was receiving threats from him and his family and was scared too leave my home, but after receiving threats to my family and a family members car being vandalised I flew off to Egypt to escape and be alone.
Whilst I was in Egypt I hit rock bottom I had a lot of strong medication to help with the injuries from the accident, I was in complete despair and could see no way out. To this very day I don’t know what made me take your book “Things Get better” out of my bag rather than the box of pills but I did and I was hooked right away its like you were there with me your book brought me out of a dark place and I am eternally grateful too you.
If I had not read those, kind, inspirational, motivating words you had written I don’t believe I would have been strong enough to overcome my situation.
Your a beautiful strong inspirational woman.
Thank you xxx
Submitted on 2013/10/30 at 6:32 pm
I have to write and tell you how much you have helped me. I have been suffering with ME for 5 years, 3 of which I have been bed bound. I am lucky I have a wonderful family, but (i thought) my main source of happiness was my fiance. I was with him 4.5 years and thought he was my soul mate. He broke up with me 4 months ago, saying he didn’t feel the same. I was devastated, but then he came back 2 days later saying he had stage 4 Cancer and that he broke up with me to stop me getting worse, as if he was a hero. I believed him and have nursed him for months through his ‘symptoms’, but his friend contacted me last week and it was all lies. He actually cheated on me and pretended to have Cancer to get me back. I am so hurt and shocked that anyone could do that. He seemed like my dream man. Reading your books give me the strength I need to recover from this and regain my health. You are so brave I feel anything is possible. Thank you so much, you really have saved my life and congratulations on your pregnancy xx
I’m not usually one for writing to people I’ve never met, but I bought your book ‘Things Get Better’ and I just had to write to you to say what a wonderful, inspiring book it is. I’m sure you have had thousands of emails to this effect, but I feel strongly about the impact this book has had on me.
I have had a weight problem for as long as I can remember and various forms of eating disorders. My self-esteem has always been low and I have always allowed people to treat me badly. It never occurred to me that I was letting them or by accepting their behaviour towards me I was sending a message that it was ok to treat me that way. From reading your book, at the grand old age of 41 it dawned on me what I have been doing to myself and allowing others to do to me.
It’s so simple and yet so effective the way you have broken down the steps towards rebuilding your life, self-confidence and self-esteem. It’s not easy but finally I feel hope that I can build a live for myself and am trying to treat myself well and stand up for myself.
Thank you Katie. You really are a true inspiration to human beings and I think the work you are doing is fantastic.
Hi Katie and all Katie members!
Just wanted to tell everyone that my nan died, she had dementia for a while and its was awful. We were really close and I spent a lot of time with her in the special care home she lived in towards the end. I got to know a lot of the other residence in the home who also have dementia so I have now decided to go back to the care home where she was I to be a volunteer so I can be close to people like her, help them and keep her memory alive. I start next month so wish me luck!!!!
I lost my baby in April
Finding Katie’s book, was a wonderful turning point of hope, positivity & really helped me with those really dark months I was experiencing.
I wanted to give you an update, that in October we found out that we are expecting again! Our baby is doing beautifully & we are now 15 weeks pregnant.
I feel the power of those positive,
re-affirming words throughout Katie’s book, following her journey & seeking inspiration from her really helped me prepare to stand up to my fear of having another baby. That you cant let the fear stop you. I cant deny it hasn’t been an emotional rollercoaster, but I still read her book on a daily basis & it does not matter how often I have read a chapter, I find something new to take from it.
I want to say thank you once again to Katie for her inspirational presence & impact she has on so many, & to myself.
I keep re-reading Katie’s book as strength, courage & determination oozes from each page.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for your books. I have recently undergone what I guess was a mental and physical breakdown after a long period of stress. I honestly felt so stuck and just couldn’t see anyway help. At 26 I just thought ‘oh no I can not spend the rest if my life in fear’. Thank god, I have a lot of support around me and now I am thankfully on the up but I picked up your books in the very start. As soon as I read the first chapter of things get better I was hooked! Firstly starting with accepting I had been at rock bottom and just letting it be was the biggest help as I was fighting so hard against it I would have never gotten to where I am now. No other book I have picked up since has started with that and it really helped me to start being kind to myself. I am just halfway through reading it again as I have been undergoing CBT but I am being referred for some counselling due to a lot of things that have come up so will take a break from CBT then pick it up again. Now I have your book I can see this as a plateau and see it as a positive thing.
I also have your affirmations book, this week my friend has been really worried about starting her new job so I have picked one every day to send to her, she has loved them.
Even the feminine designs of the book makes me feel a little happier!
You are such an inspiration and I am so glad you have turned what happened to you into something so positive. I just can’t thank you enough for the extra help your words have given me. You are such a beautiful person inside and out so thank you so much.
All through school I was bullied for being over weight and as a result have never felt good enough. I’ve tried to diet but nothing really works, this January I decided to do something about it once and for all. I started photographing everything I ate on my iPhone and making a daily food diary with the pictures, to be honest I was shocked at not what I was eating but the amounts and how often – I shared it with my aunt and cousin who are also trying to loose weight and its inspired them to do the same. The 3 of us have also decided to start an evening cooking course at college that focuses on healthy eating. In January I was a size 18 im now finding size 16 clothes baggy!!! I wanted to share this with you Katie and everyone that comes on here because im not just proud of myself for doing something about it but I’m also enjoying the process and feel like I’ve made a negative into a positive- im also thinking about setting up my own blog so watch this space!