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Jan 6, 2011 1:26 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Katy Stewart Of Sag Harbor Dies At 12

Jan 6, 2011 1:26 PM

Kathryn Collins Stewart, whom friends and family knew affectionately as “Katy,” died of hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer, on December 30, with her family at her side. She was 12.

Born at Southampton Hospital, Katy was a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor and attended Sag Harbor Elementary School and Pierson Middle School, where, according to her parents, Jim and Brigid Stewart, she had many friends and teachers she loved dearly. Recently, her father acknowledged that his daughter’s friends were of great importance to her and that although she missed going to school during her illness, she was always most happy when friends and family would visit her.

She was diagnosed with the disease in April 2009, and was treated by the Pediatric Sarcoma Team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. While under treatment, Katy received an outpouring of emotional support from several friends and organizations in the community. According to her father, teachers from several East End schools and community members often provided the family with homemade dinners, gifts to lift Katy’s spirits or thoughtful notes of support. Several boys in one of her classes shaved their heads in support after she began chemotherapy treatments. Several young girls with whom she attended school helped generate donations for her treatment through lemonade stands in various neighborhoods. Many benefits were held in Katy’s honor including “Katypalooza,” an event established by Sag Harbor teacher Nina Landi, and the “Ride for Katy,” a benefit in which motorcyclists traveled across Long Island to show support. In another effort to demonstrate solidarity, East Hampton High School students wore T-shirts that proclaimed “Katy’s Courage”—in reference to Katy’s Courage Fund, which raised funds to offset her medical costs—and recorded a song about her life and many interests.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Stewart said, “There were many more examples, too many to mention here. But the significance of these caring words and deeds cannot be overstated. This wonderful community was overwhelmingly supportive and words cannot express the gratitude felt by Katy and her family.”

Katy was a lover of animals and relished the time she spent with her two dogs, Emerson and Maisie, her cat, Crooksie, and her pony, Footloose, according to her family. In fact, she often enjoyed riding Footloose at the Little Ripple Farm in Manorville. She also loved to swim in the ocean, ride her bike and perform gymnastics. She only recently began to take up tennis with friends at Pierson Middle School in Sag Harbor.

She was a lifelong member of the Swordfish Club of Westhampton Beach, and according to family members, she enjoyed many happy, carefree days swimming in the ocean and pool, kite flying, building sand castles and barbecuing with loved ones.

She is survived by her parents, Jim and Brigid Stewart; and a brother, Robert Stewart, all of Sag Harbor; grandparents Mary Collins of Massachusetts and Elizabeth and Walter Stewart of Aquebogue; and many aunts, uncles and cousins, including the Bagshaw, Thomas, Chizever, O’Flaherty, O’Sullivan and Collins families.

The family was to receive visitors on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 4 and January 5, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. both days at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sag Harbor. A reception will immediately follow in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Max Cure Foundation Inc., 21 Settler’s Lane, Westfield, New Jersey, 07090 or via maxcure.org. Donors should indicate whether funds are to be used for a scholarship fund in Katy’s memory at Pierson High School or for pediatric cancer research in her name at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The scholarship will be awarded to students who exemplify remarkable courage, kindness and empathy.

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May this family find comfort in the New Year. Bless you, Katy
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Dec 30, 10 1:22 PM
Bless you Katy...you are an angel in heaven now with your kind and generous spirit. Blessings too to your mom, dad and brother who will forever hold you in their hearts.
By workingmomof4 (21), Southampton on Dec 30, 10 2:54 PM
We'll miss you, Katy...our thoughts are with you and your family.
By crossroads music (1), East Hampton on Dec 30, 10 4:34 PM
Way too young--so, so sad, Sag Harbor loses another beautiful child and will mourn with and support this family. My prayers and thoughts are with the Stewarts and all that knew and loved Katy.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Dec 30, 10 5:50 PM
I held Katy when she was just a few months old and thought she was the most beautiful child-- I never could have imagined her life would be so short. Heartbreaking- but she is wiser than all of us here now--
May all her family and friends find comfort and may we all live better lives because of what Katy has taught us.
By louise (13), East Hampton on Dec 30, 10 7:59 PM
Just devastating.
By traffic (26), Southampton on Dec 31, 10 2:00 PM
This is why we really need to have a cure for CANCER God Bless her family!!!
By Bridgehampton (36), Bridgehampton on Jan 4, 11 12:33 AM
Very sad news, what a terrible loss for the community....god speed.

On an observational note, 7 people commented on this very sad news, yet many more comments are made on very trivial articles of less importance. We've become a very sad and cold community when the loss of a young life deems less concern than that of a Subway Sandwich franchise opening in Watermill...
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Jan 6, 11 9:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
How about just saying, "she will be missed" or "our sincere condolences"
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Jan 10, 11 10:20 AM
Perhaps many people are just at a loss for words, I know that's where I am
By BlackDog (47), East Hampton on Jan 7, 11 12:17 PM
3 members liked this comment
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this beautiful child. Heaven has a new Angel,
By bayview (160), Southampton on Jan 7, 11 2:21 PM
my prayers go out to the Stewart family. Im so sorry for your loss
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Jan 7, 11 7:01 PM
I think this is a difficult topic to comment upon. I am 27, and have already survived a stem cell transplant and serious cancer treatment, and I can't come up with any words in a response to this. For those of us left here, it's devastation. For Katy, she is at peace - and while I have been a strong believer that everything happens for a reason - perhaps Katy was an angel - sent to us to remind her family/friends and perfect strangers that life is a gift. Every day is not under a guarantee and ...more
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Jan 8, 11 9:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
How about just saying, "she will be missed" or "our sincere condolences"

By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Jan 10, 11 8:58 AM
BIGjimbo, you are so right. The fact that we don't know this sweet young girl personally shouldn't stop us ,as a community, from expressing condolences to the family.
My sincere symapthy to Katy's family and friends.
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Jan 10, 11 10:11 AM
There are many reasons for failing to respond. First, this is such an awful, heart-rending tragedy that one doesn't want to think about it too much for one's own peace of mind. Secondly, not knowing the family, one feels that posting may be seen as an attempt of self-aggrandizement. Lastly, one feels that one is intruding, somehow, in what is a the very personal grief of those who loved Katy.

But anyone with an ounce of empathy cannot help but be brought low by this dreadful event. ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 10, 11 10:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
Highhatsize, with 607 and counting comments, you're the typical target of my comment. People are not at a loss of words for this darling child, they're just too wrapped up with their little world and the untimely passing of Katy simply doesn't affect their lives.

Stick that in your high hat.
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Jan 11, 11 7:03 AM
bigjimbo, why are you using this tragic story to attack others? Please stop.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Jan 14, 11 9:36 AM