Katherine's Journey to Health

$41,288 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 435 people in 23 months
Dressed as a puppy dog, at 6 years old Katherine sang the lead in the school Christmas play, about how all children all over the world had the right to speak out and find their voice. When she came off stage she said to me, "Mommy, I think I did something wrong! Everybody cried." I knew then she had a special gift and had done something very right. She wanted to sing around the world bringing that joy to others and she's been following her dream ever since.

She got into Wexford School for the performing arts in Toronto and went on to take a two year program at AMDA (American Music and Dance Academy) in New York. She stayed in New York for a year afterwards and was fully employed, working at the New York Murder Mystery company and getting two credits in off Broadway shows, as well as being an amazing seamstress, working in the costume dept. at AMDA.

She came back to Toronto and has been at Brock University for a year, studying performing arts, intending to take the third year to go to their sister university, Surrey, in Guildford, England to learn about the London Stage. She is talented, beautiful and brings light and life to everyone she meets.

This is a dress she made one Saturday afternoon when she was bored!
Last year she went into hospital to have an ovary removed when her lung collapsed after the ovary had swelled to the size of a grapefruit (the Evra birth control patch, banned in the US, contributed). Unfortunately the ovary fell to pieces as it was removed as the previous surgeon had perforated it (!) and it fell back into her abdomen. Cancer was then discovered in the necrotic ovary and nodules appeared inside her abdomen wall from the tissue that had fallen back inside. The doctors said that Chemo won't work and kept reassuring her that she would die a fast and very painful death. We went to St Catherine's, Mt Sinai and Juravinski and they all had the same answer with no solutions.

She then developed ascites, or massive swelling of the abdomen and her lung kept filling with water and collapsing.. She went through excruciating pain for two months this summer, which we cleared using emotional clearing techniques. We found out this week that one of the nodules has grown so large that it has completely closed off one of her kidneys and the other is being compromised. She's got a permanent tube inside her lung to remove the liquid and will have another in her belly, along with a stent to keep her ureter open to stop the build up of fluid.

We've spent thousands on her treatments so far and need to get to a clinic in Tijuana asap for 4 weeks - they apparently have the only hope of treating Ewing's Sarcoma with a treatment which takes the body up above 104 degrees and kills all cancer, along with expert nutrition, oxygen therapy etc. It's unbelievably expensive ($50,000 US+) and we have to get there in days to save her kidney and her life by shrinking the tumour. Please help and pass this on to others so that my beautiful girl can keep on bringing people joy, changing the world with her talent and kindness to others.
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FINAL UPDATE and some Good News
Hello Everyone
The support we've received since Katie's passing is amazing and I wanted you to know how much we appreciate all of your love and prayers. Here is some good news that has happened since Katherine's Celebration of Life:
1. Roberta, Aerin and Sydney helped me to sort through Katherine's clothes and belongings and her friends took what they wanted of hers. Much appreciated. It was a big job - she had a LOT of stuff!
2. Max, Katie's friend from university, had a play he was in dedicated to her in Luxembourg.
3. Sydney and Graham, her close friends who both spoke at Katie's celebration of life, are now an item!
4. Her longtime best friends Tayler and Tairn both had KO tattooed on their ankles. So touching it brought tears.
5. Two of Katie's friends' moms, Mei Ling and Julie, are thinking of setting up a student scholarship in her name.
6. The $1200 raised after the celebration of life and the donation by Geoffrey Seymour was given towards tuition to a talented drama student at Brock who couldn't afford fees.
7. Stefani Miller, one of Katie's wonderful mentors, of the AMDA NY Costume Shop, awarded a special Spirit Award to current student Edward Denby, in memory of Katie Oswald. We are giving $100 annually to keep the award going.
8. Tylaine Duggan, Founder of Youth Day, Toronto, is dedicating Youth Day 2018 to Katherine.
9. And finally Top Girls, the show in which Katherine was so proud to have been given her first lead, is being dedicated to her memory by the lovely director, Danielle Wilson, March 2nd -10th. Tickets and info here:
Thank you again everyone and I'm still overwhelmed by all your empathy and understanding. I've started teaching and doing NLP/Hypnosis sessions again and it's definitely helping. I'll never get over this but I now finally think it's possible to get through it.
Much love and God bless

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Hi Everyone
Thank you for making Katherine's celebration of life so wonderful. Over 300 people came to the Patterson funeral home for the service, including family from England and friends from Nova Scotia and Toronto and we were thrilled at how kind and thoughtful people are. It was touching, funny, sad and inspiring. Jonathan, Katie's English cousin, conducted the service and he was outstanding as an emcee.
We had an open casket and at the end everyone signed their last messages to Katie on the white casket. We collected over $1000 to give to the Drama department at Brock University so thank you everyone who contributed.
Here is the memory slideshow:
and Katie being Katie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giYM9ObagnE -

And here is the order of service, which was amazing. Thanks so much to Sydney, Sara, Aerin, Marcy, Graham, Candace, Daniel, and sisters Ann and Jen for getting so much ready in such a short time:

The Last Act

Katherine Louise Oswald

And so It Goes (with Lyrics) - Marianas Trench (acapella)

Jonathan Graham

Video: Interview with Katherine by Sara Meshmesh

Voices from Dramatic Arts and Brock University -Joe Norris and Sara Meshmesh

Youth Day Founder: Tylaine Duggan (Katherine was Youth Ambassador at one point)

Poem by Kahlil Gibran:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hands be for happiness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.
Love your kids and hug them every day.
Memories Slide Show
Words from friends
Silent Prayer – Two Minutes

Special Performance - Gretchen Helbig: For Good (Wicked)

Katie being Katie!

The Dress and The Miracle – Yvonne Oswald

Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
Love me tender,
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.
Love me tender,
Love me true,
All my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin' I love you,
And I always will.
Love me tender,
Love me long,
Take me to your heart.
For it's there that I belong,
And we'll never part.
Love me tender,
Love me dear,
Tell me you are mine.
I'll be yours through all the years,
Till the end of time.
Love me tender,
Love me true,
All my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin I love you,
And I always will.

Jonathan Graham – last words

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Robert Brault

Love me Tender was special to Katherine, so we sang along to it as we closed to help her on her journey and then we finished with her favourite song:

Over 200 people came afterwards to the Hotel for food and drinks, so thank you to anyone I didn't get to thank for all your support and love. It was a truly special day and one that will remain in my heart forever as a testament to how much Katherine made her mark on the world in such a short time. Her 22 years here made my whole life worth while.
Special thanks to her sorority Delta Psi Delta and Alpha Pi Phi for their fundraising and also for helping to make hazing a thing of the past because of Katherine's passionate stand against it.

I'm hoping that at some point the pain will lessen.

We love you all and yes Carrie we're very grateful for all the prayers you're still sending our way. Words can't describe the love I feel for you all.
Thank you with all our hearts.
Yvonne and Will
Last messages to Katherine
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Hi Everyone
See you all tomorrow, Sunday 12th November.
We're starting the celebration of Katherine's life at Patterson's Funeral Home, 6062 Main St, Niagara Falls, at 1pm so please arrive early to make sure of your place.
Katherine is already in the chapel, so if you would like to say a more private goodbye, then you can visit at 12 noon.
Looking forward to thanking you personally for your support and love.
I know she'll be with us and be over the moon to see you there.
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Hi Everyone
We finally found a venue that could hold a lot more people as I had so many requests to come over after Katherine's celebration of life. I booked a very nice local hotel that will accommodate 150-200 people so please join us for refreshments after the service. Katherine loved having a party!
See you Sunday 12th November at 1pm at Patterson's Funeral Home 6062 Main St, Niagara Falls and at the after gig at the Best Western Plus, 6400 Lundy's Lane (free food with cash bar is from 3pm on).
Colourful clothes please and no flowers - we'll pass around a collection box instead to support the Drama Department at Brock University.
On Monday night at 8pm we joined over 100 Brock University students at the Marilyn I. Walker Performing Arts School for a candle light vigil and it was wonderful. Katherine's friends shared moments they had had with her of fun and laughter. I thought I'd not be able to hold it together, but Will, her dad and I felt so happy to know that Katherine had inspired so many people that it warmed our hearts. Thank you so much Sara Meshmesh for organizing that.
If you have a funny or touching story to tell about Katherine, please send it to aerinlapointe@hotmail.com (thanks also to Aerin for organizing things and Marcy and Tammy for your kind help) so that she can pass it on, or if you'd rather talk in person at the service please text me today to let me know at 416 494 2233.
As you can (or can't actually, unless you've been through it) imagine, this is by far and away the most painful time I've ever had in my life, so many thanks to Carrie and all of you holding prayer vigils and sending wonderful thoughts and messages. You've no idea how good it feels to know that we are being supported. It really makes a difference.
See you Sunday at 1pm. I want to thank you in person.
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$41,288 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 435 people in 23 months
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