It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Iris Biteen on Thursday Sept 30, after a brief battle with cancer. Iris was predeceased by her parents Louis Biteen and Sandra Brooks Biteen. She will be terribly missed by her brother Jeffrey Biteen (Dale Biteen) and sister Bonnie Biteen (Joe Kotler) and closest friend Jacinthe Rivest. Iris adored and was adored by her nieces and nephew, Julie Biteen-Johnsen (Eric Johnsen), Andrew Biteen (Christie Ulicny), Jennifer Kotler (James Heggie) and Adrienne Kotler (Sophie Callahan), and their children Kyle and Shane Johnsen, Calvin Biteen-Ulicny, and Winona and Matilda Heggie. Iris was much loved by many friends and her extended family. She was cherished and respected by the SGI Canada Buddhist community.
Iris’s lifelong medical condition gave her a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with chronic illnesses, and she was driven to make a difference. Iris was instrumental in bringing Stanford University’s Chronic Illness Self-Management Program to the Montreal Neurological Institute. She was awarded a start-up grant and headed up this pilot project which evolved into the My Tool Box program. This ultimately became a full-time program at the Neuro in both English and French. Iris also founded the Myasthenia Gravis Coalition of Canada (MGCC) bringing together various groups across Canada under one umbrella to offer resources, advice and support to patients and their families. Iris did not allow her health issues to define her. She loved being out in nature and was an avid hiker and snowshoer. She was also an accomplished artist, enjoyed travelling and played various musical instruments.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a charity of your choice in Iris’s name. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.