Carol Mackie, Salt Spring Island BC
Carol`s daughter, Katie, was a kind-hearted, intelligent, courageous, creative and fun-loving soul. She would light up a room when she entered and attracted people like a magnet. From a little girl Kate helped others without judgment. She was incredibly patient and supportive to her brother as a child and especially as his mental health was deteriorating as an adult. Katie lived her life to the fullest. She was very athletically inclined, an excellent snowboarder and took part in many outdoor sports and activities. Katie loved food and was a very creative cook. She could put together amazing meals out of ingredients found at hand.
Katie became addicted to cannabis when she was thirteen years old. Very few treatment options existed then (or now) and all were designed exclusively for the wealthy. The two very expensive long term residential programs tried had abysmal success rates as did the various short term free treatment programs. But what other choices were there? About the same choices that Carol`s father had when he unsuccessfully sought help for alcoholism in the 1950s.
With drug addiction comes the need for money, which leads to crime, which leads to jail. Kate went through this vicious cycle and came out the other side. She got clean and was paying her debts to society. She moved to Salt Spring Island earlier this year at age 31 to start a responsible, hard-working and much beloved new life with her mother.
Carol will always be grateful that Kate was her daughter and they had spent her last 6 months of life together. Carol got to know her as a woman and the mature person she was becoming. They laughed a lot, cried a lot and Kate taught her so much about a side of life that she has never personally experienced. Carol was so proud of Katie and the person she was becoming. She will be missed by many and she was a gift to us all.
Katie`s death spurred Carol to write an article entitled Government Paradigm Shift Needed for Addiction and Mental Illness for the local newspaper and internet exchange on Salt Spring Island.
Daughter Katie McDowell died of a Fentanyl overdose on July 5, 2016.