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 program 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
To honor Catie’s spirit – and raise money to fund critical research – The Catie Wilkins Fund has designed Catie’s Necklace.
Necklaces are for sale at the online CURE Store and cost $40 each. 100% of the proceeds for each necklace sold goes towards The Catie Wilkins Memorial Fund. You may choose the 18″ or 20″ chain – and this makes a lovely, meaningful gift for birthdays, Mother’s Day, or the Holidays. Click here to purchase the necklace.
Elves from Catie
Desperate to get through the first Christmas without Catie, Jenny Wilkins searched for a way to remember her daughter. She and her husband Tré always gave credit to a mischievous elf for providing hope during Catie’s short life. So, as a tribute, Jenny worked with the owners of Host an Elf to create a program called Elves from Catie. You just buy an elf for a child with cancer, and 30 percent of the proceeds go to CURE Childhood Cancer earmarked for pediatric cancer research.
Last Christmas Elves from Catie, sent 537 elves into the arms of children who could use some comfort and raised $2,685 for CURE Childhood Cancer!
For more information or to donate an elf to a child with cancer, visit www.elvesfromcatie.com.