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Kate's Collection

How It All Began

In memory of our sweet Kate

April 17, 2001-July 13, 2008

Kate and I loved beading and making anything and everything together. Kate passed away at the age of 7 and in a small way making jewelry served as a form of healing for me. After making a few pieces, people really began to show interest and Kate’s Collection began. Kate loved making jewelry and wore what she made all the time. I treasure her collection and the thoughts and pictures of her wearing it. Kate had such a sweet little old soul and would request prayer for others long before she would for herself, even while in the hospital. She was always concerned about others and like a little mother hen to many, even of her own age. She was mainly a mother hen to her special cat “Purrvis”, which we rescued as a kitten and still have. He was like a best friend to her and he mourns over her loss as much as we do. Kate also had a great love for pocketbooks, which she had way too many to count. A majority of them were made by Nanna and though I have not yet learned how to sew, I did take up knitting and added scarves to the collection. Nanna also beaded and made crafts with us and was always making Kate and the grandchildren the most beautiful and unique things. Nanna now has Parkinson’s Disease and it has become difficult for her to make things, but one of my favorite things I have learned from her and the most requested is the Tree Of Life necklaces. I guess you could say I am a tree hugger in many ways, especially now that I am primarily making trees and will choose to wander among them on trails or mountain tops almost over doing anything else.

 

Kate passed away from the Mitochondrial Disease MELAS, which we had no idea she was born with or what it even was. It manifested a few months before her 7th birthday and after being diagnosed, a lot of the strange and unusual symptoms she had since birth and then the sudden onset of seizures, it all began to make sense to us. Mitochondrial Disease is a maternal disease and with myself, son, mother, sister, maternal Aunt, her children and their children having weird and unusual symptoms most of our lives...the puzzle began to fit together. Our family puzzle will never be complete though without our sweet Kate and we are always missing that special piece. I have found it my life’s mission to educate others on Mitochondrial Disease and take on this horrible and debilitating disease that does not have a cure and very few therapy options. There are so many people misdiagnosed or never diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease and are sick all of their lives and can’t figure out why. I have also made it my mission to use a portion of all Kate's Collection sales to help various charities and organizations that Kate would have loved.

 

Thank you so much to those that have purchased a Kate's Collection piece! I hope you enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it for you and THANK YOU for being a part of this endeavor!

 

Love,

Wendy

www.caringbridge.org/visit/katestephens

www.umdf.org