Brave Katie is star of sell-out show in her honour

Katie and her dad celebrating the event.
Katie and her dad celebrating the event.
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A young Burnley worker who is recovering from a near fatal illness was the star of her own sell-out show last weekend.

Katie Chadwick (23), a new car sales rep at Evans Halshaw in Burnley, was the guest of honour at a charity night held on her behalf.

Katie was struck down by a rare strain of the brain disease encephalitis last October and very nearly lost her life.

She spent more than three months in critical care and is still in the rehabilitation unit at the Royal Preston Hospital. But for the past few weekends she has been able to return home to her family in Colne and on Saturday night they were all at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre at a concert called “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”.

This was arranged by the Theatre Company and Katie’s friends in the local amateur theatre world – many of whom were among the large cast performing on stage, including her younger sister Emilie (12).

Katie was in the balcony with her father Paul, while her mother Leisa was helping out backstage. Katie said it was wonderful to be there and she was feeling so much better. She was delighted to be surrounded by all her friends and family who enjoyed a wonderful show named in her honour, as she played “Annie” and sang the theme song as a child, and this was sung by her sister and the whole company as a moving finale to the show.

The 495 capacity theatre was full for the sell out evening and all proceeds will go to the Encephalitis Society to raise money and awareness about the little known condition. Family and friends have already raised around £10,000 and when the total is announced it will be another major boost.

Katie’s former drama teacher Howard Raw was the compere and there was a presentation by the society.