Compassion Canada

May 05, 2011 11:10 ET

Kaitlin Boyda, Whose Wish Inspired People to Bring Water to Thousands in Africa, Passes Away

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2011) - Kaitlin Boyda, who lived with a faith and compassion that inspired hundreds of people to give to water projects through Compassion Canada, passed away this morning at 2 AM (MDT).

Kaitlin, from Lethbridge, Alberta, was diagnosed in the summer of 2009 with a cancerous brain tumour at age 15 and has spent the last year and a half battling its affects. When she was approached by the Children's Wish Foundation in December 2010, she decided not to choose a wish to benefit herself, but to donate the wish to build a well for children in need in Uganda.

When others heard of Kaitlin's generosity, they were inspired by her compassion and gave to help support other water projects in Uganda. Because of Kaitlin's inspiration, 21 water projects will be built benefitting thousands of children and families.

Brenda Boyda, Kaitlin's mom, reflects on her wish, "Everyone always thinks in order to change the world you have to be someone who stands out in a crowd, be the best in school or the one who wins all the races, but Kaitlin has changed the world for more than 40,000 lives just by being obedient to God."

Caring individuals from Korea, the UK, Australia, the United States and all across Canada came together and completely funded the entire 21 Ugandan water projects in just seven weeks. Other water projects are currently available for funding in Ethiopia and Ghana. To date, $265,034.96 has been raised to bring clean water to children in need in Africa, much of it through people touched by Kaitlin's story.

During a recent televised interview, Kaitlin explained, "Even though I don't want to be sick, if I wasn't, I wouldn't have received this wish and others wouldn't have wanted to help and all of these children wouldn't have benefitted. It is a humbling experience." She went on, "We are only on earth for so long, and we need to make an effort for other people. It's like we take a picture while we are here on earth – at the end of the day, what do you want the picture to look like?"

Kaitlin inspired those she met and those who simply heard her story. At only 17, she will leave a legacy that will impact the lives of thousands. Ian Lawson, Kaitlin's Pastor from E-Free Church in Lethbridge describes her as, "the picture of true Godly humility – she was not thinking about herself, but she was thinking of others."

At Compassion Canada, we feel profoundly honoured and grateful to have known Kaitlin and been a small part of her wish.

To learn more about Kaitlin and the impact she has had, please visit www.compassion.ca/KaitlinsLegacy.

About Compassion

Compassion International has partnered with the local church in the developing world to bring an eternal solution to poverty into the lives of children since 1952. Today, Compassion Canada and its international partners work with over 5,000 churches in 26 nations to bring care to more than one million children and families.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Tracy Smith, Compassion Canada
    985 Adelaide Street South
    London, Ontario
    1-800-563-5437
    tsmith@compassion.ca