The sky is the limit as brave Katherine wins scholarship

PUBLISHED: 07:56 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:15 24 May 2010

A DISABLED woman is flying high after being selected to take an all expenses paid trip to South Africa

A DISABLED woman is flying high after being selected to take an all expenses paid trip to South Africa.Katherine Allsop battled her way through a tough selection process to win a scholarship for flying lessons. When Katherine was 14 she had an operation to remove a tumour from her spine.The tumour returned when she was 22 and the scar tissue which developed after surgery left her unable to walk without crutches.The 32-year-old, who works for a security company, was handpicked for the trip and will be flying out to South Africa in August for six weeks. While she is there, she will be given 40 hours of flying lessons.Katherine had to go through a three-day selection process at RAF Cranwell to win a scholarship from the charity Flying Scholarships for the Disabled.Among the others selected was Martine Wright, from London, who lost both her legs in the July 7 terrorist bombings. Just eight people were awarded a full scholarship.Katherine, who now uses a wheelchair to travel long distances, said: "It never occurred to me that I would be able to fly."I had a phone call to say I had got a place. It hasn't quite sunk in yet. I don't think I'll really believe it until I am there." Katherine grew up in Norfolk and now lives in Hutton with her parents. A keen sailor, she has sailed tall ships in places like the Canary Islands and the Caribbean as well as dinghies at Chew Valley Lake.Flying Scholarships for the Disabled was set up in 1983 with the aim of giving disabled people the thrill and freedom of flight.

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