Caitlin Boyle grew up on Beaver Island. She attended Beaver Island Community School K-12 where she was a National Honor Society and Student Council member, Student Volunteer with senior citizens, as well as a community and Holy Cross Church volunteer. Caitlin was a volleyball player, cellist, horse woman, assistant dog groomer, lover of all animals and a dear friend to many. She saved up and bought her own horse at age 10. Caitlin learned how to ride both Western and Dressage and competed on the mainland in numerous events. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Sciences at Michigan State University.
While at MSU, Caitlin was a member of the MSU Ballroom Dance Team, Rodeo Club, Russian Club and more. She loved working with animals and house-trained her rabbits and hedgehog. Caitlin was on the Board of Directors for Michigan Purebred Association. She trained her puppy, Apollo, in Agility, Lure Coursing and Barn Hunting. Caitlin went on to work in the Michigan State Senate and House of Representatives in Constituent Relations and as a Legislative Aide. She was very happy for the chance to work on legislation that helped protect animals. After leaving the House, Caitlin went back to MSU and started studying for a second degree to become a Veterinary Technician, while working full time as a Veterinary Assistant at Lane Animal Clinic in Chelsea, Michigan.
Caitlin always put others before herself. She taught herself to crochet and made lots of hats and blankets for the premature babies at various hospitals. You could always find her working on a crochet project for her numerous family members and friends. While she was going through chemo treatment, she crocheted hats for other patients and donated many to the children’s hospital and adult cancer center.
After her diagnosis, Caitlin started a fundraising program called Build a Cure for Brain Cancer to help find a cure for Pediatric brain cancer. The program also distributes Lego kits to young brain tumor patients too sick for usual activities. Caitlin’s family and friends continue her work through this program.
Caitlin was a passionate spokesperson for the FDA’s Expanded Access program. She was invited to Washington DC to be interviewed for an FDA Publish Service Announcement video helping everyone understand the need for getting trial drugs to people with terminal illnesses who may or may not qualify for a medical trial but have exhausted all other options for treatment. As a patient who did well for a few years on her trial medication and as a known advocate, she was asked to speak at the groundbreaking ceremony of a new Neuro Oncology Hospital building at the Regents of Michigan (U of M) Hospital. It was an honor Caitlin and her family were very proud of.
Caitlin passed away at her home from a DMG brain tumor on Beaver Island in March 2021, in the loving arms of her parents, Neal and Connie Boyle. She was just 29 years old. Connie and Neal came to the Community Foundation later that year to learn more about how they could continue Caitlin’s legacy of giving back. After considering options for impact, they established the Caitlin Boyle Endowment for Student Success. The permanent endowment supports Beaver Island students by removing barriers to learning, providing enrichment opportunities, and encouraging students to become successful community citizens in partnership with Beaver Island Community School. Caitlin’s endowment will make a difference every year in perpetuity, in her name and in her memory.