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Katie was born on Sept. 10, 2009, in Rowlett, Texas, to proud first-time parents, Rick and Lori Higginbotham. Spending her first few days in NICU was just her first chance to show the world how tough she was. Everyone who came in contact with Katie instantly fell in love with her beautiful blue eyes, bouncing blonde curls and infectious smile (oh those sweet dimples!). On Oct. 25, 2011, Katie became a big sister to Abigail Rea. She took this new role very seriously! Katie became a "little mother hen" right away, making sure Abbie was well taken care of and always letting Mommy know if she was misbehaving (lovingly, of course!). Katie loved her family fiercely! She adored her Mommy and loved spending time with her doing girly things like getting pedicures and lots of snuggles. She was also a Daddy's girl and loved hunting and being outdoors with him.
Katie attended Eastridge preschool in Rockwall, Texas, followed by Lee Elementary in Caddo Mills, Texas, where she was proud to be a 'Lil Fox. She LOVED school! She was a very bright student with a true love for learning and her teachers. She was also a little social butterfly who loved playing and spending time with her friends. Katie and her family attended church at Eastridge Church of Christ where she was baptized, along with her father, on Good Friday, March 30, 2018.
On Oct. 27, 2016, Katie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She immediately began strenuous chemo treatments and amazed everyone with her faith and courage, even continuing to attend school during this time. Katie's tumor did not respond to the chemo; so on Nov. 6, 2017, she began a 30-dose treatment of radiation. She faced these treatments with a smile every single day. On March 22, after a second biopsy, Katie's family was informed that her tumor was terminal. She was officially diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and her family began the process of making precious memories with the time she had left. Katie's parents have said many times that she is a "strong little girl that believes in an even stronger God" and that is exactly how she lived her life.
Katie is survived by her parents, Rick and Lori Higginbotham of Lavon; sister Abigail, also of Lavon; maternal grandparents Marla Hulse of Josephine, Texas, and Gary and Annette Hulse of Dallas, Texas; paternal grandparents Bill and Diane Keene of Dallas and Richard and Flo Higginbotham of Gallipolis, Ohio; maternal great-grandparent Doris Hulse; aunts and uncles Lester and Erin Price, Carl and Dawn Jobe and David Higginbotham; first cousins Cody Price, Shelby Price, Chasity Turner, Johnathan Turner, Cody Utley, Sadie Higginbotham and Jackson Higginbotham; and numerous extended family who loved her dearly.
Katie was preceded in death by George and Mary Miller, Lois Wagliardo, David Sustayta, C.E. Hulse and George and Lou Higginbotham.
Her funeral service will be held 2 p.m., Friday, June 15, at Eastridge Church of Christ, 670 N. Stodghill Rd., Rockwall, 75087. Interment will follow at I.O.O.F. Cemetery, 4414 FM 6, Caddo Mills, 75135.
A gathering for family and friends will be held Thursday evening at Reflections at Rest Haven Funeral Home - Rockwall Location from 6 to 8 p.m.
As an alternative to flowers, memorials in Katie's name may be made to the Camp iHope Foundation at 3100 Indepsendence Pkwy, Ste. 311-342, Plano, TX 75075 or online at https://campihopeorg.presencehost.net/get-involved/donate.html.
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