Zionsville, IU grad Caitlin Engel Kochheiser didn’t let cancer stop her

When the cancer returned with vengeance last year, doctors gave her until August to live. Maybe Thanksgiving.

It was January and Caitlin Engel Kochheiser was still fighting.

She stayed in a hospice with her husband Brian and her mother Missy by her side. In two days, she wouldn’t be responsive. But for now, she needed their help. She had a granddaughter who would have celebrated her fifth birthday in June and a grandson who would have turned two. She wanted to write them birthday cards.

He wrote them each, but it didn’t stop there. She wrote another, then another. Sloane and Charlie will open an aunt’s birthday card every year until she turns 21. They will get a letter when they graduate from high school and another when they get married.

Until the end, that’s who Kochheiser was.

Caitlin Engel Kochheiser was a Zionsville and IU graduate who taught at Clay Middle School and was an assistant to the track and field team.  She died of cancer on January 25, 2022.

“She was sitting with the nurses asking, ‘What did you do for Christmas? What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?’ Here she is dying and she is thinking about things like that, “her father Chuck said. “A girl in a hospice has been doing it for 39 years. He said Caitlin had the strongest survival instinct of any person she ever came in contact with. She wouldn’t give up. “

Leave a Comment