HONORING THE MEMORY OF THEIR MOM
Kate and Sophie McKittrick are two strong young women with big aspirations. At just 16 and 14 years old, they’re already successful fundraisers who have their sights set on loftier goals.
Busy excelling in high school, Kate is also a level one ski instructor at Snow Valley Resort. Like her big sister, Sophie, too, is a great student and a passionate member of her local cheerleading team. By all accounts, the girls are thriving in ways their mom, Susan McKittrick, would be delighted to see.
Susan died in 2019 from breast cancer and her daughters are doing amazing things in her honour. On May 28, 2022, Kate and Sophie organized a “Walk for Sue”, with the help of family friend Lyndsey Tuck. An event that raised over $6,000 in support of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre – blowing their original fundraising goal out of the water.
Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 when her daughters were just one and two. Her cancer journey has always been part of their lives. So, when they had the idea to do this walk, they chose to give back to the place where their mom spent much of her time throughout her illness.
“At RVH, the doctors were so kind,” shared Kate. “They never gave up. They cared for our mom and for us.”
“They offered us supports like therapy for the whole family to help us all deal with what was happening,” said Sophie.
Sue’s family and friends remember her as someone who was always smiling and when things got tough, her simple message to herself and to others was “just breathe.”
With a starting goal of $1,000, the girls anticipated 50 family members and friends would join them on their walk.
“We made an Instagram page and things kind of took off from there,” said Kate. “We had about 130 participants and raised $6,275.”
They created “Walk for Sue” T-shirts, fight breast cancer stickers and key chains branded with a pink ribbon and a #teamsue message. Pink and white balloons, cans of Sue’s favourite drink – Coca Cola, and photos of her with her favourite people adorned the registration station.
Participants had the option of walking two, five or ten kilometres through Elmvale Heritage Park.
“Susan would be so proud of her husband, Adam, and her two girls,” said Lyndsey. “They have been so strong through all of the challenges life has thrown at them.”
The sisters hope to inspire others who have experienced loss to do something similar.
“For us, it was a day to reflect and share memories of our mom,” shared Sophie. “We would encourage anyone in our situation to do the same. It gave us a chance to remember our mom and support the hospital that cared for her.”
“Our mom was an elementary school teacher,” said Kate. “She taught kindergarten. We wanted to do this to celebrate her.”
There’s no question Sue’s work as a teacher touched many lives. And now her legacy will have an even greater impact thanks to the work her girls are doing in her memory.
Kate and Sophie are looking forward to hosting the next “Walk for Sue” in 2024. “We plan to do it every other year,” said Sophie. “We hope to change the location so we can accommodate more people. Our next goal is to raise $10,000!”
If you would like to honour a physician, nurse or any member of a care team that had a positive impact on your life or the life of a loved one, you can make a gift to our My Care Hero program. When we receive your donation, a small gift and acknowledgement is sent to your named care provider or care team