Updated: Sep 14
Sydney was born in Santa Monica on February 11, 2005, but lived most her life in Belvedere and Tiburon. She was a bright, sensitive girl whose first words were “kitty cat” and who spoke in full sentences at 18 months old.
Her love of books began before she could walk and she became a prodigious reader. The library was one of her favorite places and during her illness she started her own lending library from home.
Sydney loved cats and started “Cat Club” and “Kitty Couture” (making clothes for stuffed cats) in elementary school. She loved to write, starting with plays for her stuffed cats and developing into short stories; she won a writing contest in sixth grade for her work.
Sydney was forever making and creating things, from cork boats to a pinball machine made from recyclables to the lip balms, creams and treats she loved to make for friends and family. She preferred spending her money on others and got great joy out of giving gifts.
Sydney loved to travel with her family and was proud of visiting 26 states along with trips to Italy, Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand and Cambodia. Her happy places were Sea Ranch, Salmon Lake, her Great-Aunt Sheri’s house in Vermont and anywhere with snow. Sydney swam for years for North Bay Aquatics and discovered a passion for lacrosse just before her cancer diagnosis.
Sydney fought osteosarcoma for over two years and was in chronic pain. She endured so much but was so resilient and always made the best of her situation, even as she became more and more physically restricted. She was determined to continue her “walks” around the block and used a chair lift to get in and out of the pool. She stayed focused on school and discovered a love of coding. She loved school and her friends and was looking forward to going to college.
Despite her long battle with cancer, Sydney died suddenly and unexpectedly on November 25, 2020. She was 15 years old. She had so many plans and so much potential and the world is worse off without her. She will be deeply missed, forever, by her parents, Greg and Sarah Kaplan. The only comfort is knowing she is no longer in pain and she is free of the body that continued to fail her. We hope wherever Sydney is she finds joy, lots of cats and she can run again and maybe even fly.
Sydney will be cremated and buried in Vermont with her grandmother and great-grandparents. A celebration of life is still being planned. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to help others with osteosarcoma with MIB Agents at www.mibagents.org/family-funds/sydney.