Tim Hortons Survivor’s Story: A “Sweet” Victory Over Breast Cancer

Written by: Tim Hortons US Corporate

Tim Hortons U.S. Operations has been headquartered in Dublin since 1997 and the staff consider their co-workers simply part of their “Tim’s Family.”

Tim Hortons prides itself giving back to the communities it serves. The company has been a Race for the Cure sponsor for a number of years, but supporting Komen Columbus took on an entirely different meaning when one of its own was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Katie Fowle painting a mural of the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation in its Dublin office.

Katie Fowle, an accounting representative at Tim Hortons, was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 1999. At the time Katie was focused on climbing the corporate ladder, but it was her battle with breast cancer that caused her to view the future and her dreams in a whole new light.Katie remembers vividly that throughout the fear, the unknown and the absolute pain, she realized what she thought were “dreams” didn’t mean anything in her new reality.

During treatment (first chemotherapy, then radiation) Katie decided she wasn’t going to focus as much on rising up the corporate ladder, but on fulfilling her dream of becoming an artist. She planned to fulfill her dream closer to retirement age, but life’s unpredictability reaffirmed there is no time like the present.  Katie signed up for classes working in her favorite medium—pastels and also joined a few local art leagues.

However, with the good news of remission and the excitement of what’s to come, Katie went into overdrive feeling the need to cross off everything on her bucket list—causing more stress than actual enjoyment.

She had to tell herself to slow down and enjoy life more—not rush through it. Katie has always believed that once a person goes through having cancer or any other disease, you can either be bitter or grateful—not for the disease, but for what you learn as a result of having to deal with it.

Katie says she learned that compassion comes much quicker and deeper and the little things really are that little. Katie credits the on the support of family and friends during her treatment to keeping her positive, but it was how considerate and supportive her Tim’s family was that amazed her. Katie said her co-workers were always there—without question—and never hesitated to take on some of her workload when she had to take time off.

Katie is now in remission, still at Tim Hortons and still pursuing her passion for art. She is painting a mural of the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation at Tim Hortons U.S. corporate office and is getting ready to walk with her coworkers on the Tim Hortons Corporate Team in this year’s race.

The Pink Ribbon Donut

Since 2005, Tim Hortons has raised more than $35,000 for Komen Columbus. Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop Columbus restaurant owners are supporting the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure again this year with the sale of its Pink Ribbon Donut. The special donut retails for $1 with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Komen Columbus. The Pink Ribbon Donut is available May 7-19.

We hope you join Katie and the Tim Hortons Corporate Team at the Race. You can still sign up to register at one of our mall site locations. See you at the start line!