Class Act:

Caitlyn Letourneau

Nomination Story:

Caitlyn Letourneau is an amazing 17-year-old honor student in her junior year at Foxborough High. She has overcome so much devastating loss in her short life, yet still compassionately always dedicates most of her time to help other handicapped children. Below is a picture of Caitlyn with her American Sign Language honors teacher at Foxborough High School. She was inducted into the National Foreign Language Honor Society at Foxborough High school this year for ASL. Among all her other fundraisings for Children’s Hospital, she has also found time to use her ASL knowledge to help after school with a young Down Syndrome boy in our town each day and often on weekends to help his parents.

Caitlyn lost her little sister Emily to a rare terminal genetic disorder called Zellweger Syndrome when she was young. Due to her sister’s many medical needs, Caitlyn spent a good amount of time at Children’s Hospital with her. She watched her baby sister slowly loose her fight with this deadly disorder at an age most little girls should be playing with dolls and not grieving in a hospital filled with so many other sick children. 

Watching her baby sister Emily fight a loosing battle along with seeing so many other children in the beds/halls of the hospital fighting for life effected her. Instead of coming out of such loss with pity and grief, she at the age of 3, after telling her that her sister went to heaven and would not come home anymore, insisted on making a difference for all those other kids still fighting for life at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. She’s been compassionate and loyal since she was very little. In 2001 we helped her start a Memorial Tribute in her sister Emily’s name through Children’s Hospital. Over the last 14 years Caitlyn has done every Children’s Hospital Walk, organized pancake Santa breakfasts with all funds going to the hospital, she has helped organize volleyball tournaments as part of her fundraising, and when she was in the 8th grade she helped organize a walk with the students of her middle school to once again raise even more funds for Children’s Hospital. To date Emily’s Foundation that Caitlyn started as an innocent little girl many years ago wanting to help has raised close to $20,000. 

She was awarded the John J. Ahern Middle School/Francis Toomey Award at her 8th grade graduation in 2012. This was awarded each year to a child that has shown compassion/as well as making a difference for those in need in our community. She also was awarded that same day with The President’s Educatiom Award for outstanding academic achievement.

Caitlyn faced another horrible obstacle when her Nana(her bff) found a lump in her breast during a family trip to Disney World in 05. She sat bedside with her beloved 58 year old grandmother, day in and day out for 2 years and watched what chemotherapy can do to even the strongest of people. Sadly in April of 07 she was devastated at yet another major loss in her young life, when her grandmother and best friend, lost the fight to Breast Cancer. Caitlyn was only 9 at the time and once again instead of tears, she focused her strength on continuing her passion in helping raise funds at Children’s Hospital for all the sick kids like her baby sister, this time her dedication was strengthened by a need to make something good come out of yet another devastating blow in her young life.

She has been a member of the Best Buddies Program all 3 of the years that she has attended Foxboro High. 2 weeks ago she got dressed up and volunteered to help the special needs students attend the Best Buddies Prom. She gave up her beloved sport of riding horses each afternoon to watch a little boy with Down Syndrome that attends one of the elementary schools in Foxborough. She uses her knowledge of Sign Language to help this young boy she loves so much with his speech. He isn’t quite non-verbal, but the common knowledge of ASL between this little boy and Caitlyn helps him communicate when he’s tired or just feels frustrated because he can’t get the words out. The two of them have a lovable sweet bond and I think the fact that Caitlyn lost a special needs little sister has brought them together and made the love, respect, and friendship so much stronger. 

Caitlyn is a remarkable young lady with more compassion then most of us will ever dream of achieving in our lives. She’s an honor student, she’s dedicated most of her 17 years of life to helping Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and her passion is helping the handicapped in our town from our high school all the way down to a young man in need of a buddy in our elementary school. 

She is a gift to our world and her heart is one of kind! She deserves her moment to be acknowledged for all the amazing and selfless things she has done most of her life for the sick and handicapped in our community and well as with Children’s Hospital. I can’t wait to see the impact she will make for the better of this world after she graduates next year! 

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