17 years after she died in 9/11 attack, Colorado woman is changing lives of strangers

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MONTROSE, Colo. -- "You know, it's still heartwrenching."

That's how Bill Faragher describes the loss of his sister, 17 years ago.  Kathleen "Kit" Faragher worked in Denver for Janus Capital Group (now known as Janus Henderson).

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, she was attending a conference on the 106th floor of the north tower at the World Trade Center in New York City, when a hijacked plane crashed into the building.

The coordinated terror attacks in Manhattan, Washington DC and Pennsylvania killed nearly 3,000 people and injured 6,000 more.

That day, Bill drove to New York City, and with his family, he searched for his sister.  They combed through hospitals, emergency rooms and shelters for two weeks.

"Yeah, that was the hardest two weeks of my life," Faragher said.

They never found her.  In fact, Kathleen Faragher's remains have never been identified.  But in death, her purpose has.

"She is a huge part of my life. And she helped me get through the first two years of college," said Michelle Medina.

Medina and her high school sweetheart Rafael Nieto were planning to attend nursing school. They'd be among the first in their families to get a higher education.

But they were unsure of how to pay for it.

Then, two years ago, they were both awarded the Kit Faragher Foundation Scholarship.  They're two of more than 30 teens over the last 15 years who've been given a boost, because of a total stranger.

"I bet she would be an awesome person, because her family was really great," Nieto said.

"A lot of these kids that are getting these scholarships potentially wouldn't be able to go to college at all," Bill Faragher said.

About $140,000 in scholarship money has been awarded by the foundation, which was set up by Bill and other friends and family to honor Kit's legacy and her love for education.

It's not the only way Bill is keeping her legacy alive.

"When Jana, my wife found out she was pregnant, the due date was 9/11," he said.

So it was only fitting they named their son Kittridge "Kit" Faragher.  He turns nine years old this week.

"Kittridge definitely has my sister Kit`s soul, and attitude, and spirit for life," Bill Faragher said.

The little boy never got to meet his aunt.  Neither did any of the young people who've been awarded the scholarship in her honor.  But all of their lives were changed, by the Colorado woman who died 17 years ago.

"It is nice to see that she`s being thought of and not forgotten," Bill Faragher said.

Later this month, the Kit Faragher Foundation is having its annual fundraiser in Montrose.

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