The first annual Kaitlyn Marie Reimer Scholarship was handed out on Wednesday evening at Katie's Cottage just east of Boundary Trails Health Centre.
Open to Garden Valley Collegiate (GVC) Students, Kaitlyn's former high school, it was created thanks to a donation by Kerry and Darlene Pollock. The Pollocks wanted to honour Kaitlyn's legacy and ensure her memory is always kept alive. The fund it facilitated by the Winnipeg Foundation.
It was always Kaitlyn's dream and vision to give back to the community, and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she founded Katie Cares. Her mom, Ruth says Kaitlyn also loved school, with reading and writing being one of her passions. She says she's confident Kaitlyn would have pursued university or post-secondary education. That's why it's fitting to have a scholarship created in her name to carry on her legacy.
GVC grade 12 student, Kristin Buhler is the inaugural recipient of the scholarship and said Kaitlyn's story has had a huge impact on her.
When Buhler was younger, her brother was in a significant accident resulting in a Winnipeg hospital stay. Kristen says she was very touched by her brother's roommate, a five-year-old boy that had no people come to see him. Witnessing how the nurses cared for her brother and the little boy made Kristen determined to become a nurse.
"It's all very overwhelming right now, I'm super grateful for the opportunity though," says Buhler. "This is very exciting for me. I'm excited for this new chapter in my life for sure."
Ruth says Kristen's essay was beautifully written, and it paralleled Kaitlyn's experience in the hospital. "We wish you much success as you follow your dreams as you make a difference to those around you," added Reimer.
"It really has come full circle to her passing, to all of this, and now we're giving away a scholarship to a deserving student like herself (Kaitlyn). She would have been that student that would have excelled and wanted to learn more and be in school, so this was only fitting. And it's only fitting that it happened on that ten-year milestone," says Reimer.
Last month marked ten years since Kaitlyn passed away.