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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42 entries.
Freeha Riaz
I am learning more about Dr. Pape via a friend and fellow mother. It is so lovely to know of her work and her relentless advocacy for children. She seems to have left a mark in this world which is highly appreciated and valued by many--I am glad to have learned of her through my friend. May she pass into the next realm with peace.
Courtney Evanchuk (Baigrie)
I first learned about Dr. Pape in late 2017, several months after my daughter suffered a severe brain injury during birth. We had been told our daughter might never walk or talk or swallow or do much of anything. I researched brain injury, looking for facts but also looking for hope. I read The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk and it changed my life. It gave me hope and helped me to see my daughter’s potential for recovery. I was so inspired after reading the book that I emailed Dr. Pape. I was blown away when she responded to my email 8 hours later, giving me tips and advice and answering my questions directly. I already felt a sort of closeness with Dr. Pape after reading her book - not only was it honest and open minded and heartfelt and full of hope, it also revealed that we both lived in Toronto and in Boston. Small world, I thought. On Dr. Pape’s recommendation, I sought out therapists for my daughter who would be her champions, who would push her and respect her limits but not label her. Also on Dr. Pape’s recommendation, I traveled with my daughter and my mother to visit the amazing Pia Stampe in April 2018. We had a wonderful visit and learned a lot from Pia. Pia actually consulted with Dr. Pape during our visit about our daughter and we have been implementing her advice. In the wake of Dr. Pape’s passing, I learned that we attended the same grade school/high school, Havergal College, in Toronto. I had no idea that we were fellow alumnae. I could not dream of a more inspirational, passionate, dedicated, brilliant, and healing soul, and I just wish I could have met her in person to say “thank you - you changed my life, and you changed my daughter’s life.” Karen, thank you for all you have done to make the world a better place and may you rest in peace.