Katie was like a lot of teenagers.
And she was like no one else.
Katie seized life from the moment she was born. When she was a toddler, she never had an “inside” voice. As a second grader, she did multiplication in her head. As a freshman in high school, her sister paid her to do her senior AP calculus homework. But, like so many other gifted people, she felt the pain of the world deeply. She lost her beloved grandfather when she was 12 years old. Her parents divorced at about that time. Her life and her outlook changed dramatically. Combined with an extensive family history of mental health issues, it was too much. Katie struggled with anxiety and depression, as well as substance use. She was eventually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, at her own suggestion. The pain became too much for her; in December 2009 she attempted suicide. She was unsuccessful and she “woke up”, being able to walk and talk. Her family thought she had been given a second chance. Unfortunately, she developed medical complications over the next 5 months, a condition called late onset dystonia. After being in the hospital ICU for most of this time, her family brought her home for hospice. After three days, she died peacefully at home. Her pain was finally over; ours began.
Despite the rocky times, Katie had lots of successes and good times. Her strong spirit prevailed as she overcame severe bullying and graduated from 8th grade. She had a difficult time with social anxiety and she missed a lot of school. Still she graduated with a 4.0 grade point average from Menomonee Falls High School. Her passion in school was the art classes that she took. Just before graduation she got an internship as a tattoo artist, which tied together her artistic gifts with her rebel spirit. “Carpe Omnius” was a tattoo that she chose for herself which translates to “Seize It All”, which beautifully describes Katie and our wish for her memorial fund.
Katie was smart and passionate about art.
She had a strong spirit and our wish is that that her passion and spirit will live on through this fund.