Nat Panagarry: Her wife’s cancer diagnosis and a ‘rollercoaster’ journey

Feb 28, 2023, 06:00 PM

Netball used to be one of the most important things in Nat Panagarry’s life – but that has all changed.

Last year Nat’s wife Katie was diagnosed with stage four clear cell cancer and life as they knew it was turned upside down.

Suddenly playing netball for England and Loughborough Lightening paled into insignificance for Nat compared to what she and her wife were facing.

Unsurprisingly it has been a rollercoaster journey for the pair. There have been hospital appointments, chemotherapy and they have both had to tackle hurdles no one in their 30s expects to face.

As Nat admits in this SportSpiel podcast episode, there were moments of anger. Many in their situation would ask – why them? They were no different.

But there have also been moments of hope and happiness. In November the pair tied the knot and the countless messages of support they have received as they share their journey on social media have been overwhelming.

Throughout it all playing netball for Loughborough does still play a key part in Nat’s life.

Now that the 2023 Netball Super League season is back up and running that’s become very apparent, although she openly admits her approach is different.

In many ways it’s also unknown as she embarks on her first full campaign balancing everything off the court as well.

What is unmistakeable in this episode is Katie’s inspiration and the hurdles the couple face together are also a key reminder of the larger things in life.

It also serves as a reminder of how much you can take from the person you love the most regardless of how tough the situations are.

While the focus now is very much on Katie’s battle with the disease, Nat and her wife are determined to raise as much awareness as possible.

One charity who perform such vital work in that area is Look Good Feel Better, who are partnering with England Netball for the return of their annual charity netball tournament on Sunday, March 26 to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Taking place at Warwick University, the tournament is open to teams looking to battle it out with an amazing cause in mind.

With incredible prizes and goody bags on offer it’s a perfect opportunity to raise awareness for such a vital charity.

For more information on the Look Good Feel Better netball tournament visit:

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Image: With thanks to Nat Panagarry/England Netball

Music: Otis McDonald