Thursday, 07 February 2019 16:21

A Community Remembers: Kaitlin Bowman

Photos provided. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A beloved member of the Saratoga community, 13-year-old Kaitlin Bowman, passed away on Jan. 30. She was surrounded by her family. A funeral took place on Feb. 5 at Burke and Bussing Funeral Home in Saratoga Springs and was followed by a gathering at the Saratoga Eagles Club.

Most recently on Aug. 25, 2018 the community rallied behind Bowman and her family for her birthday and for the 10th annual barbeque to support Bowman, “Coming Together for Kaitlin.” She suffered from Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCL) or Batten’s disease. The disease refers to a group of conditions that affect the nervous system. Symptoms vary from person to person but include vision impairment/loss, epilepsy and a decline in motor skills. Bowman suffered from all three including a Myoclonic jerk.

“Sweet, full of life, vivacious and brave. She had been brave in the face of this disease,” said Debra Park, Bowman’s aunt.

“People who have lived with her, for example, Becky’s (mother) husband Jeffery, I have heard him say ‘she made me into the good man that I am,’” Park recalled and says that Bowman brought out the good in people.

Aside from the lasting impact Bowman made with those she encountered, she leaves a lasting legacy in the community as well.

Just over two years ago Kaitlin’s Korner was erected in at Gavin Park in the town of Wilton. Kaitlin’s Korner is an inclusive playground made for children of all abilities. Swings include bucket seats with buckles, a horizontal slide and all solid surfaces.

“Becky, that was an initiative of hers. We wanted to do this on Kaitlin’s behalf and she made it almost all the way, she raised the money and she oversaw literally all the things that would go on the playground and then the Wilton town board got us across the finish line,” Park said.

While vacationing in Lake George,a family with an Autistic son thanked Becky Manning, Kaitlin’smother,for having built the play ground, Manning shared in a previous conversation.

“This one picture she’s got her hand on her mothers face and it’s all I can think of because she said ‘mommy, I okay;’ she was not okay, she was never... she was a brave little thing,” Park remembers.

An obituary can be found at www.burkefuneralhome.com/ obituary/kaitlin-bowman and online remembrances can be made at burkefuneralhome.com.

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