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24 Sep

24 September 2020

Phil is doing a 50km hike in the UK, in memory of the wonderful Katherine Harris. We are extremely grateful that while training, Phil has also been fundraising for CFNZ and the CF Trust.

All the best for the big day, Phil! 


Phil told us about his friendship with Kat and Kyle

I met Kat on Myspace remember that? We were on a Motogp chat section and she’d posted something very funny about Max Biaggi that tickled me. I replied with an equally damming comment and that was it. We messaged each over email and instant messenger for years. It was sometime before she told me she had CF. I remember it like it was yesterday. She replied to a message saying sorry for being slack I’m in hospital eating grey and beige food.

Until then I had no clue. She went to great lengths to underplay what she was going through. She’d met Kyle by the time we met up for the first time. I’d found them a B&B in the UK to stay in as part of a European OE as you Kiwis would call it. Being that we’d been messaging each other for years, the minute we met we just clicked. Great mates and Kyle too what a sound bloke he is. I remember after the first day Kat was saying hey Kyle he was my friend first. Haha. Kat was a sister to me. Younger sister she’d want me to say as she kept reminding me at every chance that I was older than her by a whole 6 months!

We then went to NZ to see them. What a great three weeks we had in your fantastic country. Kyle lent us his ute for two weeks even though he’d only met us for 2 days a year earlier. We stayed with them in there house with just the one dog Koby the best dog you could ever wish for and the slightly mental cat. The zoo came later.  New Zealand and the memories of that trip with Kat and Kyle will never leave us. We loved everything about it. Loads of flat whites, sausage on a stick in cockle bay, sea fishing in Tairua and wine tasting in Kerikeri.

We were over the moon that they were able to attend our wedding 3 years later. Again the minute they arrived on the train from London jet lagged beyond belief, it was like we only saw them yesterday. This is my point although in the 10 years I chatted to her we only spent in total maybe a month together in person. Yet not a week goes by when we don’t mention or quote something that was said when the four of us were together. Like the time she mentioned it was cute that there was a lower handrail for short people on some stairs at Brooklands Museum. Kyle quick to point out it was the track for the stair lift for the old people.

Her passing like many hit me hard. I’m not sure I’ve fully accepted it either and probably wont until I visit NZ again which I will do. It’ll be hard to be there without her but I must do it as I promised I would. I signed up to a 50k hike in September. Never walked anything like that far before, I’ve got a mate to come along with me who on hearing my story about Kat decided to do it with me for CFNZ also. We started training in the January very cold and wet achieving our first 10k with a pub lunch watching the rugby six nations Wales vs Ireland. We’ve come along way since then, completing in total 876km in training hikes. Fuelled by well known sports energy snacks such as chocolate fish, peanut slab and pineapple lumps I kept it as Kiwi as possible. In fact as I type this I’ve just completed my first 33km hike. My legs didn’t feel like mine at the end but it went well.

Kat is always in my thoughts, I miss her loads. It was nice to have such a strong bond with someone on the otherside of the world. What wont go will be the memories I’ve got them for ever and when we do come back to NZ I’ll get to meet their beautiful little girl Paige. Kat lives on in her and if her mum is anything to go by with Kyle as her Dad she will be just as awesome and crazy as Kat was.