Memories & Condolences

Karen Elaine Magee Pape

Karen passed away peacefully at home on Saturday June 2, 2018. Daughter of the late Brian and Elaine Magee. Mother of Sarah, Aaron (Lisa Richardson), and loving Nana to Daniela and Jack. Much-loved sister of Brian (Susan) Magee, Ivan Magee and the late Judy (Normand) Baril. Beloved former spouse of Paul Pape. Proud aunt of Brendan, Diana & Charles. Karen was a pillar of strength for her family with an enormous heart.

A graduate of Havergal College, McGill University and the University of Toronto Medical School, Karen was a neonatologist at The Hospital for Sick Children, the Director of the Neonatal Follow - Up Program and the President of the Medical Staff. Widely published, she was instrumental in the development of neonatal ultra sound brain scanning now used in intensive care units around the world. After leaving HSC, Karen became a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity in children with early brain and nerve injuries. She was a tireless advocate for a revolution in the treatment for children with cerebral palsy. Karen captured this work in her recently published book, The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk.

She was a rebel with a cause who took no prisoners nor suffered fools. Karen took the road less travelled by and that made all the difference to thousands of her patients and their families. To the end, Karen was still thinking of ways to advocate for improving the treatments available for children with early brain and nerve injuries. She did not go gentle into that good night. In the weeks before her death, Karen endowed a foundation to provide funds to continue her work in this field.

Her family would like to thank Wing Lam and Pia Stampe for their support.
There will be a celebration of Karen’s life on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at The Rosedale Golf Club from 4 to 7pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation to Karen’s foundation.

Memories & Condolences


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Mara Yale
I was deeply saddened to learn that Karen had died. We corresponded over the past five years as my daughter had a stroke at birth and Karen was a huge supporter of my daughter and me as outliers. This winter, I had reached out to Karen to find a blog post she wrote about my daughter because another parent was seeking it. I've just republished it as Karen knew other families wanted to read this ( In the months after I knew that Karen was sick, she responded to my inquiries about her health by enlisting my help to design review her updates to her website, to collect resources to share as part of her legacy. I did what I could, and I would love to be actively involved in the foundation. In the past year, I've made a major career and life decision to transition from nearly two decades in software engineering to focus on rehabilitation, particularly to support children with early neurological difficulties. Even though our correspondence was limited and I never got to meet Karen in person, she was a key mentor and inspiration for me, part of why I decided to make this leap.