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Ekaterini (Cathy) Papas - Age: 49

My beloved aunt Cathy was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) in September of 2016 and unfortunately passed away this September (2018) at the age of 49 years old. January 11th would mark her 50th birthday. It was, and still is completely surreal to all of us: family members, friends and colleagues that this has occurred. Many of us showed great support along the way especially her boyfriend Frank who was by her side every step of the way.

To say that Cathy was a good person would be the biggest understatement of all. My aunt was a humble individual who positively impacted many people that crossed her path. She was an extremely caring, supportive, humorous and intelligent person, one in which I will ceaselessly be grateful in having throughout my 25 years of life. She wasn't solely an aunt, but a second mother and a best friend.

Oscar Wilde once said that "to live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all". Even though Cathy was young, she fortunately cherished her life and lived in "the now". She made it possible to travel to various places. My aunt also valued education, which I was inspired by for as long as I can remember. Receiving her B.A in Political Science and M.A in Educational Studies, she afterwards made a bold decision to move from Montreal, Canada, to Greece. She had opened her own school and taught English to children and adolescents. Later on, in her early forties, she went back to school and received her B.A in Education. She managed to work as an Elementary school Teacher for a couple of years before she got sick. Many admired her teaching skills and capability to connect with her students.

In no way am I trying to convey that Cathy's life was perfect. What I value is that she was ambitious and determined. Even amid the obstacles that were faced, she stayed true to herself and the decisions she made. Cathy did not particularly fit the norm which is something that we all can learn from. Society tells us to live our lives in a certain manner, but is that a good thing? What is good for one person does not insinuate that it's also good for another.

Thank you, dear Aunt, through your actions, we've all learnt a lot more about what's important and essential in life. Cathy's legacy will continue to live on.

I've created a fundraiser on Justgiving. Any donations are appreciated. Cathy truly wanted to spread awareness and for a cure to be found surrounding this rare cancer.


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