Katie Piper set up The Katie Piper Foundation in 2010 to help make it easier to live with burns and scars.
In 2008, she was the survivor of a rape and acid attack that left her with severe facial disfigurement. Katie spent seven weeks in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital before starting a two year stint where she wore a special plastic pressure mask for 23 hours of every day.
Katie set up the Foundation to help others as those with scars and burns often require ongoing treatment throughout their lives.
Over the past few years and in addition to her work at the Foundation, Katie has appeared regularly on TV and has authored two books. She is also fundraising for the charity – by doing a 10k race.
Fresh from promoting her second book “Things Get Better”, we caught up with Katie. She had never taken part in a race, but was excited and nervous about the event.
“In the lead up to the run, my training had been going well. I’ve found that I much prefer running outside rather than on a treadmill. I’ve been going to the gym a lot more, but getting outside to run has been really nice.”
Katie admitted that the weather of the ‘great British summer’ had helped her training.
“I like running in the rain and find it a lot easier. I don’t have sweat glands so it’s harder to regulate my heat in hot weather.”
It’s clear that Katie has picked up the running bug, admitting that the mental and physical benefits of running had really appealed to her.
“The psychology of running really interests me – it feels great to run for longer than you thought you could. If I do stop, I feel really annoyed that I didn’t push on a little bit longer.
“Running is also really great for improving mental health – it can make you feel a lot better, just by heading out for a run. The feeling that you can carry on is fantastic – you get such a buzz after you’ve finished.”
Despite admitting that running had given Katie real inspiration, getting out of the front door was sometimes a struggle.
“I need to listen to music when I run, but I’ve been getting a few funny looks as I’ve been running and singing along to the songs on my iPod!”
Looking at the development of her charity, Katie hoped that it would become more recognised and help even more people in the future:
“The Katie Piper Foundation has only been going for a couple of years, but it’s helped a lot of people. We’d like to continue to grow and become as big as Macmillan or Marie Curie in time.
“We hold a few workshops each year but what is really good is that through our forums some of the people on there have chosen to meet up and hold their own get-togethers and social gatherings. We’ve created a real community.
“Almost all of the people that come to see us will need treatment throughout their lives, so fundraising is really, really important for our charity.”
Katie completed her 10k in a brilliant 1 hour 3minutes and 3 seconds, raising £1,900 for The Katie Piper Foundation. You can still sponsor her fantastic efforts.