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Pictures of Katie and her sister Robyn



The MacKenzie family would like you to join us in celebrating what would be Katie's 25th birthday. This will be our 12th annual event to raise money for kids like Katie so they can participate in the most amazing camp experience.  We are so grateful to everyone that has supported our efforts in the past, and continues to support Camp Oochigeas into the future. Katie would be so proud of all us, helping others and celebrating her life. Here’s our story, 



 

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This year Katie would have celebrated her 25th birthday. Our family continues to celebrate our amazing daughter Katie with this annual event that commemorates her passion for life and love of Camp Ooch. Katie left us a legacy of love and commitment to make the world a better place and we want you to join us in that celebration.

Diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour at age 11 our Katie did not let cancer define her. She stayed with us for 18 months and gave us the courage and the strength to continue and celebrate life and love when she passed away.

The truth is Katie’s cancer was aggressive. Her illness progressed rapidly and she needed constant medical care with IV meds to help with pain management. Sending Katie to Camp was out of the scope of our imagination but Camp Ooch turned us around by offering both the friendship and fun of Camp alongside 24 hour medical care from Doctors and nurses (many of whom we knew from our time at SickKids). We truly didn’t think it was possible, but Camp Ooch replaced the struggle and worry that had consumed our hearts with joy. One might think it impossible to experience laughter and joy when your child is suffering but Ooch, the staff and volunteers have an ability to make what seems impossible, possible.

As Katie’s mom I am now privileged to work at the head office of Camp Ooch helping ensure more kids with cancer experience the magic of Ooch like my Katie did. I am often the first person to greet families, donors and volunteers when they arrive at Ooch Downtown and when I smile I hold fast to the knowledge that Katie would be so proud. When I smile, I am smiling at her.

Ultimately our family raises funds in Katie’s name to give more kids with cancer the chance to be kids. Katie loved Camp. She loved the chance to water-ski, dance, canoe, rock-climb, make friends and overall just have an amazing time. Camp was a magical place for Katie. It was also a magical place for our other daughter Robyn who attended Teomul – a camp exclusively for bereaved siblings at Ooch. It was a magical place for our family and we know first-hand the life-changing impact Camp Ooch has on kids with cancer and their families.  Read more about what Camp meant to Katie by reading her journal.

Please help to continue sending kids like Katie & Robyn to Camp Ooch every year. Please consider monthly donations, these funds are accessible all through the year for programs and for less than the price of a cup of coffee a day, you are helping to send a kid to camp.

Thanks to all for caring and making a difference in the lives of these very special children.

Greg and Dana Mackenzie, loving brother and sister, Jamie and Robyn

 

About Camp Oochigeas

Camp Oochigeas (Ooch) provides children with and affected by childhood cancer with what they need most – the chance to be kids. Ooch is the only overnight camp in Ontario to offer on-site IV chemotherapy and blood transfusions providing access to campers in active treatment the friendship and fun of Camp. Operating year-round, Ooch offers programs at overnight camp in Muskoka, at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), various other paediatric hospitals, regional cancer centres and at Ooch Downtown in the heart of Toronto. As a registered charity, Ooch relies exclusively on the generous support of fundraisers, individual and corporate donors like you.

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