Faith - A Biography

“Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into”

- Mahatama Gandhi

Faith Tilk
January 12, 1998 – November 20, 2006

Faith, a beautiful girl with chocolate brown eyes, a disarming smile and a tenacious spirit was on this earth for just under 9 years. Hers was a short, impactful life, inspiring her family, friends and community to be a part of the quest to bring lasting meaning to it. “If in Faith’s memory we can help other children, than maybe we can also begin to heal” believes Faith’s mom, Nancy.

“Her sweet, pink glow” is what Nancy remembers most of her baby girl the day she was born in Malton, Ontario. But it really was in Tottenham that Faith had “her first real playground”. Here she formed friendships and memories that she continued to cherish even after McCormick Canada transferred Steve, Faith’s dad to London, Ontario. At this time, Faith was only 3 with her two older brothers, Cole and Garret being 8 and 7. It was here at John Dearness Public School within the larger community of Oakridge that Faith bloomed, making many friends and coming into being the exceptional athlete, dancer and true animal lover that she was.

After countless games of road hockey with her brothers and other neighborhood children, Faith’s competitive nature was ignited and she decided to branch out. She excelled at both ice hockey and soccer. Her dad, Steve was her coach. Although a valued player for her skill, Faith is remembered most for her efforts to give all of her teammates a chance to shine…encouraging them to be the best that they could be. And throughout, she always smiled that smile.

Faith’s other passion was dance. In fact, at the age of 7 while dancing with girls much older than herself, her dance teacher asked her to audition for the competitive team after which point she referred to Faith as “My Power House”. At home, Faith spent many hours with friends, planning and performing dance routines. The sillier, the better. Her energy and opportunities seemed boundless.

Her obvious love of animals led Faith to proclaim that she wanted to become a Veterinarian. In the company of the family pets, Maggie (the dog), Finnegan (the cat) and Darling (the bunny) to whom she would sing, she would tell her mom that she could envision her future animal clinic…with her mom cleaning the cages! An avid fisherwoman, Faith (worming her own hook and removing the fish!) caught the biggest fish on family vacations. Before letting them go, she always performed CPR…ensuring that they were returned to the lake healthy.

Up until the two days before she died, Faith lived her life fully, with high energy and a large circle of friends. On November 18th, 2006 after a hockey practice and playing at a friend’s house, she went to bed and woke up with extreme pain in her side. At London’s Sick Children’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with appendicitis and admitted.

Despite tremendous efforts on behalf of Pediatric Doctors and staff, she was unable to recover following surgery. She died on November 20th, 2006.

Faith was not a celebrity. She was a little girl whose sudden death first devastated a community before an appreciation for her life could inspire. Now and for the future, our task, with the assistance of London Community Foundation, is to celebrate Faith’s life by making good things happen in her name. With your help, like Faith, we want to encourage other children to be the best that they can be. Will you help us?