The Kate McIver Story

Kate McIver

Kate McIver was a mother and a wife from Aldford (near Chester). Kate was a highly thought of aesthetician, who gave specialized skincare treatments to clients (in particular, – with complex skin conditions and requirements).

Unfortunately, Kate was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2016. Following her initial treatment(s), she was given the “all-clear,” and she remained cancer-free for 12 months. However, in November 2018, sadly, the cancer returned.

It was whilst undergoing nine months of gruelling chemotherapy treatment (which left her skin dark and dry, – a common side-effect of chemotherapy) that Kate tapped into her wealth of knowledge, and her expertise as an aesthetician, – to create a revolutionary new product that would protect her skin, and others from chemotherapy. 

The most common skin-based side effects of chemotherapy are:

  • Extreme dryness,
  • Lines appearing,
  • Black/purple circles under the eyes,
  • And scarring. 

Her Secret Weapon Serum was the result of her efforts, and just four months after its’ launch, the product was continually sold out, forcing Kate to increase her supplies to keep up with the rising demand.

Sadly though, Kate lost her battle to Secondary Breast Cancer in March 2019. She was 30 years old. However, in spite of great tragedy and great loss, Kate’s legacy has remarkably continued on.

Kate was determined to help the Breast Cancer Awareness Charity, CoppaFeel!, – as their message reaches a young audience in order to catch cancer early. Still, to this day, the skincare brand supports CoppaFeel!, and Make 2nds Count, – a Secondary Breast Cancer Charity.

Since Kate’s difficult passing, The Kate McIver range of products has expanded, but the Secret Weapon Serum will always be the “beating heart of the brand,” according to Kathryn Orr, who now runs Kate McIver Skin. Kathryn said: “It’s where the journey began.”

Kate McIver

An act of pure fate led to Kate and Kathryn meeting on a plane, which was the start of their friendship and business relationship. Kathryn, a former advertising director, – had just left her corporate position to become a consultant. Kathryn worked with Kate from October 2018 onwards, but prior to this, she also supported Kate as a qualified coach and mentor.

Kathryn said: “Having worked alongside Kate during her most difficult days to support the launch and the growth of her Skincare brand, I feel very protective of her legacy and the development of her business. Kate and I worked around the clock (as all start-ups do) to succeed, – to develop a strong foundation in order to enable the business to grow.”

“We worked together to ensure that Kate’s business would create a legacy for her daughter, and make a difference to the Cancer Community. Her determination and tenacity was exemplary, and her bravery still remains at the heart of the business,” added Kathryn.

“I took the responsibility of Kate’s legacy to the extreme. I have done everything within my power to ensure that the business has strong foundations, with a customer base that is loyal, and with ambassadors across the world supporting us,” she added.

This side of Christmas, Kate McIver Skincare is launching a brand new product: it’s Kate’s original formula that she created before passing in March 2019.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved during what I can only describe as the most challenging chapter of my life to date on so many levels. The loss of a friend, and facing the start-up journey without her has been so tough, but resourcefulness has always been my biggest asset as a working-class girl from Liverpool,” said Kathryn.

During Breast Cancer Awareness month, Kate McIver Skincare has joined the National Secondary Breast Cancer Campaign for the Charity, Make 2nds Count: ‘Fighting To Be Heard.’

“Kate McIver Skin is the bee’s knees for sensitive and distressed skin. It’s been used a lot lately by NHS frontline workers, but it’s also loved for its glow-giving abilities, and it’s a key part of many professional make-up artist’s kits: it comes with an incredible blend of natural oils, including argan, coconut, camellia and jojoba, so it’s super hydrating and nourishing to all skin types,” said Kathryn.

“Also, money from each bottle of serum sold (50p for 15ml, and £1 for 30ml) will go to the CoppaFeel! breast cancer charity,” added Kathryn.

Campaign for Make 2nds Count secondary breast cancer charity. Photographer: Sane Seven

Since launching, celebrities have been using the iconic serum and sharing their results online. The long list includes Munroe Bergdorf, Lisa Faulkner, Luisa Bradshaw White, Trinny Woodall, Lisa Snowdon, Cardi B, Jessica Heyes, Danielle Lloyd, Alex Gerrard, Billie Faiers, plus many more. Also, Kate McIver Skincare was recently featured in You Magazine by Edwina Ing Chambers, the beauty editor.

With over 1000 5-star reviews, the Secret Weapon Serum is now a huge success, but this is in part, down to the bravery of their customers (who have been prepared to share their before and after pictures on social media, and demonstrate the product’s amazing results).

“Life is too short, and no matter what you are going through mentally or physically, you have the right to look and feel the best you possibly can,” said Kate McIver.

Breast Cancer Information:

Secondary breast cancer is a disease that currently kills 1000 women a month in the UK. A YouGov poll commissioned by the charity to coincide with Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, – revealed just how uninformed the public is: 

· Almost two-fifths (38%) of the British population are ignorant about secondary breast cancer, and 21% are aware of secondary breast cancer, yet they know nothing of the disease’s common signs and symptoms.

· More than 40% of respondents don’t know the incidence of this form of the disease, whilst 11% are under the impression that it is rare.

· 44% of those polled wrongly think that young women aged 15-39 have the best chance of survival, and a third have no idea who lives longer after a diagnosis.

· Common symptoms can initially be attributed to other health conditions, such as arthritis. A quarter of people surveyed believe that more than 25% of patients with a history of primary breast cancer have initially been treated for another condition before their secondary breast cancer diagnosis.

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