On her first birthday, Catie Wilkins was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor. With no warning, Catie and her family were plunged into a world of non-stop doctors and surgeries and chemotherapy and medicines.
Catie’s parents, Tré and Jenny, helped her navigate through 12 surgeries, 4 different chemotherapy protocols and 6 weeks of radiation. But her tumor continued to grow, even through these harsh treatments. Catie fearlessly fought her battle with cancer, but the chemotherapy had compromised her immune system so severely that she succumbed to a common virus before she reached her 5th birthday.
Purpose of the Fund
Many survivors of pediatric cancers live with lifelong side effects from the treatments they received to survive. The severity of late effects of treatment varies, but problems include (but are not limited to) decreased cognitive function, infertility, endocrine problems, growth abnormalities, hearing loss (moderate or severe), renal dysfunction, heart problems, and secondary malignancies. Simply surviving is not enough. More research is needed so that survivors of childhood cancers can not only live, but live well. The Catie Wilkins Memorial Fund was established to support these research efforts.
In Memory of Catie
While Catie battled cancer for most of her life, she managed to fit a whole lot of living and laughter into her all too short 4 years and 4 months. Catie was funny and tough, loving and mischievous. She was quick to tease her daddy and her laughter rang out when she got away with something. Her favorite place on earth was the beach where she loved to catch hermit crabs and play in the sand. She was an animal lover, with dogs and tree frogs topping her list of favorites.
It’s impossible to capture the essence of Catie in just a few words. She was, in some ways, just a normal kid. But she was an old soul with a wisdom beyond her years. Those who knew and loved Catie were forever changed by the enormity of her spirit and determination to live big in spite of what life threw at her.
How To Donate to the Catie Wilkins Fund
Click here to donate online and choose the “Catie Wilkins Fund” in the Designation section. Your gift will be directed accordingly.
Checks can be made out to CURE Childhood Cancer, with “Catie Wilkins Fund” written on the notes line. Mail checks to: CURE Childhood Cancer, 1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite N-402, Atlanta, GA 30338
Special Events Benefiting the Catie Wilkins Fund:
Sisters on a Journey
Each year, hundreds of women come together for three very special “Sisters on a Journey” dinners, held in Savannah (Feb 20, 2016), Effingham (March 19, 2016), and Statesboro, GA (April 16, 2016). At the dinner, hosts purchase a table in which they decorate, prepare food for their guests, and invite friends to join them for the dinner and program. This is a truly special, moving event not to be missed. To purchase tickets, please contact Mandy Garola at firstname.lastname@example.org.