Mum, 69, celebrates breast cancer all-clear with Thailand backpacking trip
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A mum is backpacking around Asia with her daughter and her girlfriend – and has been partying on the islands to celebrate being cancer free.
Kate Gearing, 69, was invited to join her daughter, Nessie, and her partner Becca Wolfenden, both 27, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Thailand. Kate was given the all-clear in January 2022 after battling breast cancer and the couple planned a trip for her to join them on.
Kate surprised them by being up for backpacking and the trio are making their way around some of the Phi Phi islands - Koh Lipe, Koh Lanta and Phuket. They have visited an animal sanctuary, gone snorkelling, enjoyed local food and even taken Kate partying.
Kate, a retired doctor, from Gairloch, Wester Ross, Scotland, said: “I’m enjoying it. It’s exhausting. They are leading me all over the place. It’s been great fun. Luckily my cancer was picked up and treated. Make the most the of what time you have and have fun.”
Nessie, who owns a development trust charity with Becca, said: “She’s more free. It’s been a change in character.”
Becca added: “She’s legendary. Seeing her now backpacking and lying on a beach carefree is so nice.”
Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2021 and had an operation to remove the lump, followed by radiation before being given the all-clear in January 2022. Becca said: “She’s very resilient.”
Nessie added: “She’s a doctor, so a fighter.”
The couple, who have already been on UK trips with Kate, invited her to travel around Thailand with them – and were surprised when she wanted to do it by backpacking. The trio flew out on November 9, 2023, to Ko Lipe and have been enjoying the islands – taking boat trips and swimming in the sea.
They have been staying in budget hotels and Airbnb's while travelling around. Becca said: “We went to an animal sanctuary and saw elephants. We’ve been on several boats and ferries. We’re taking her out partying. She’s really taken everything on. She’s really taking on the whole backpacking experience.”
The couple have even been trying to convince Kate to get a tattoo while she’s away – and say she is coming around to the idea.
Nessie said: “She would never have got a tattoo. She was against it.”
Kate added: “I haven’t organised anything. I loved seeing the elephants and snorkelling. I’m very happy to be here.”
Follow Nessie and Becca on TikTok @nessieandbecca