A Pinner family held their first charity event in November, following the tragic passing of their daughter and sister.
Katie Shapiro’s life changed forever after a seemingly harmless stomachache resulted in the diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer, which was presumed to be bile duct cancer. Katie went through chemotherapy but sadly passed away in October this year, just a few weeks after her 34th birthday.
Siblings Jamie, Michael, Lisa and Mark and parents Jackie and Gerry Shapiro welcomed around 100 guests at The Oddfellows Arms in Pinner on November 12 to remember Katie and all the good she did in the world, as well as to raise money for charity.
Speaking to Pinner News, Jamie said: “Her whole life was about helping people, and I thought, I’m either going to fall apart or go away and do something Katie would still be doing if she was still here.”
The event was visited by the Mayor of Harrow councillor Ramji Chauhan, and included food, drinks, live performances and a raffle, which featured prizes such as tennis lessons and a Formula 1 cap signed by Max Verstappen, which sold for more than £300.
Katie was a therapist, yoga teacher and volunteer, and her love for animals, the environment and mental health meant that her family decided to donate the more than £5,000 raised from the event to PETA, Mind and Maggie’s.
Jamie said: “Katie will always be the most important person in my life. She has been there since I came into this world and I never imagined she would ever be gone.
“Truthfully, it’s hard not to be angry and bitter about what has happened. Katie dedicated her life to helping others and was taken from us far too soon – and before she had a chance to experience all the good in life that she helped others attain.
“But then I remind myself that, unlike me, Katie always saw the good in the world. She was forgiving, empathetic, and had a heart of gold.
Katie’s family has named the charity Katie’s Picnic, as the Shapiro family would often spend their summers enjoying picnics outside in the park. An annual summer picnic for 2024 is in the process of being planned, to continue raising money and keep Katie’s memory alive.
Jamie said: “To me, she will always be everything.”
Photo credit: Jamie Shapiro