Today, Kathryn suffers from the long-term effects of radiation, including memory loss and the slowing of her processing speeds.
Kathryn was born in Port Perry Hospital on October 21, 1992. From
a very young age she was an active girl, always managing to keep
herself busy. She loved her fluffy cat and all the other animals on
her farm, but soon it would become clear that she was especially fond of ladybugs.
As Kathryn grew a little older she began to struggle with pain. For several months it was difficult to tell what the complication might be. Then on June 19, 1997, to the shock of all those who loved her dearly, Kathryn was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour.
Just a few days after her diagnosis, Kathryn had her first surgery, which sadly resulted in her becoming legally blind. Her recovery was fairly bumpy as well, with quite a few complications, including a stroke and a brain bleed. But forever the little optimist, this is around the same time that Kathryn’s ladybug paraphernalia collection began to take flight.
Shortly after, a routine MRI found a second tumour and a second surgery was scheduled just ten months to the date of her first. When that surgery was done, an unexpected, heart breaking third tumour was found. And just six weeks after that, a scan to check on her healing found three additional tumours. At this point, surgery was no longer an option and doctors recommended that Kathryn undergo six weeks of radiation therapy.
Today, Kathryn suffers from the long-term effects of radiation, including memory loss and the slowing of her processing speeds. But even so, doctors say she has surpassed all of their initial expectations and is actually quite the little medical miracle.
Despite all of these challenges at such a young age, Kathryn still manages to live life to the fullest, painting, drawing, cross-stitching, crocheting, and of course collecting anything and everything to do with ladybugs. To date, her collection has grown to an astonishing 2,500 items. When asked why ladybugs are so special to her, Kathryn replies, "When you are blind and have a brain tumour, you need all the luck you can get. And ladybugs are good luck.”