Katrina Leeder Airline: On Overcoming Cancer SEVEN Times
Battling cancer even just the once is enough for anyone to face in a lifetime, then there’s battling it SEVEN times. Katrina Leeder Airline has done just that, making it to the other-side, seven organs lighter…
Leeder was recently interviewed by Rylan Clark Neal and Emma Willis on This Morning alongside her Airline co-stars, Leo Jones and Jane Boulton, to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The iconic threesome were reunited on screen for the first time since the hit show wrapped up back in 2008.
Image Source/ Dailymail
Speaking of their bond, Jane admitted:
‘I think particularly for our crew at Luton, we’re all still in touch and we all say the same thing, we’ve never worked anywhere where we’ve had that relationship – we’re like a family.’
Image Source/ Entertainment Daily
Back in the day, reality TV wasn’t as saturated as it is now, making Airline really the only option for those in the market for a bit of real, raw drama. Its uniqueness ultimately made it one of the most iconic shows on our screens, since it’s ran from 1998.
The show Airline, filmed at Luton airport, followed passengers and staff at the EasyJet desk, seeing cancellations, tantrums and even a wedding unfold.
Viewers at home could relate to the frustration and often stress-provoking environment of an airport- especially when things go wrong, which seemed to always be the case at the EasyJet desk.
We as viewers just THRIVE off drama and things going wrong, which we can live through our screens without experiencing ourselves- it’s almost therapeutic in an odd way. That’s probably why at its peak in 2003, there was 10 million of us tuning in to each episode.
Image Source/ Dailymail
The two leading ladies, Katrina and Jane, along with Leo made up the famous trio that became the best of friends and fan favourites. Katrina and Jane might not have matched the glam stereotype of today’s female reality stars, such as Sam Faiers and Chloe Sims, but it was how normal they were that connected us to them.
When presenter Rylan Clark, a big fan of the show himself, introduced the ex- check in assistant Katrina to the show he told viewers Katrina was incredibly shy- and can you blame her after everything she’s been through?
Clark went on to relay her history of cancer battles to the camera, recalling that she had battled the disease four times.
In response to Rylan, Katrina was quick to correct him:
‘So I left EasyJet and I actually left and had cancer again but I didn’t tell anybody I kept it very quiet, I lived a very private life. Unfortunately over all those years I’ve now had it seven times and lost seven organs, but I’m still here.
Katina Leeder Airline: Where Is She Now?
Video Source/ Youtube
‘I live each day. Every day is very precious for me, very important. I live each day as it comes and grasp what I can. Every day I’m here I bless those two girls and I’ve got more time with them.’
Katrina Leeder Airline began her battle with cancer when she was just 16, and has since been fighting off various types of the disease since.
Her full adult life has seen her fighting cancer, leaving one kidney down, missing part of a lung, diaphragm and gallbladder, with half a stomach, and without 70% of her liver- and that’s not to mention the emotional scars.
Image Source/ DailyMail
Still, the positivity and strong-mindedness that carried her through her battles remains:|
“I’ve lost seven organs. I live each day as it comes now. My girls are the ones who keep me going.”
Moving away from the spotlight, Airline Katrina revealed she hadn’t worked anywhere since EasyJet, but now works as a childminder. Childminding might be a far cry from her reality role back in the day, but a path that makes her happy after everything she’s contended with.
Not having an easy ride in any aspect of her life, Leeder also revealed she’d been separated from her husband, Julian, for seven years.
When you’ve had your life nearly stolen from you that many times, it’s no surprise that it leaves you treasuring every moment, knowing that every day is precious.
Her twin daughters, Freya and Clarissa, are the positive that she takes from each day and the fuel for the fire to keep on battling.
Image Source/ The Sun
Katrina’s strength didn’t go unrecognised by Airline fans who tuned in to the 20th anniversary interview, with one tweeting:
“What an amazing inspiration #Katrina is. To fight #cancer not only twice but 7 TIMES!!”
Another fan of the show tweeted:
“So lovely to see the crew from airline! Katrina we love you!”
Support for all three of the main characters came flooding in, but most noticeably for Katrina and the turmoil she’s been through since leaving EasyJet.
As well as her fans, her family have also been a continued support system, with her brother Darren setting up a donation page in honour of he charities that have helped his sister along the way.
To beat one of the biggest killers not once, but SEVEN times, is a true example of grit and resilience that we could all aim to implement, to some degree, in our own lives.
Since her appearance on This Morning we haven’t heard a peep from the our favourite lady in orange, so we’re hoping all is well and she’s just too busy focussing on her health and happiness!