About Kim: Working Mom of two girls Ellie (4) and Avery (2), wife of a teacher and song writer, freelancer designer, photographer. I am a creative introvert always looking for ways to express myself, I enjoy crafting, cooking and I am trying to fit exercising back into my life.
In 2007, I joined TEAM in training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to compete in the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon. At that time, cancer had never really affected me on a personal level, I listened to the stories told by my teammates of how cancer had affected them and could only console and be a listening ear. Little did I know that my family would be directly affected by this type of cancer.
In July of 2012, I found out my Dad had Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a very rare form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. At the time, I was living in my parent's basement with my husband and two kids, and also working for my Dad's business. Even though this was a very rough time for me and my family, I think God brought us there, to help, and be a support system during my parents time of need.
I went with my father to some of his doctor appointments at John's Hopkins and listened to his doctors tell us what the next steps would be. He started his first phase of chemotherapy by the fall, and after the winter he was going to start a very intense form of chemo. I was always so worried bringing my kids and their germs into the house while he was going through chemo.
In March, my Dad started a very intense round of chemo and there were complications almost immediately. My Dad had seizures and allergic reactions in the first week, which made it all very real and very scary. He came home one day with a fever and had to go back to the hospital immediately. Just as his white blood cell counts were almost non-existent, he found out he had caught the flu and was admitted to John's Hopkins for almost two weeks. Is was strange how I now felt like I was taking care of my own father. During this time he lost his hair, lost a lot of weight and was very weak. When I came to visit him in the hospital he looked so different, but he always remained positive and optimistic.
Each day my Dad was in the hospital my girls and I sent him a photo to help lift his spirits. They call him "Boompa."
My Dad has recovered from the intense chemo is currently in remission, he still has to have chemo four times a year since his cancer is considered in-curable. It is only a matter of time before it will come back.
Just before Christmas we found out my Mom has a type of carcinoma, so far it doesn't look very serious, although she has to have some procedures to remove the carcinoma and then have tests to make sure it is not anywhere else in her body. I pray that it has been discovered early enough to remove it and that it has not spread anywhere else in her body.
Cancer is not only scary but is very real, whether it impacts you, or someone you love. This is why I have decided to join our MACC MOPS Relay for Life team. On May 30th our MACC MOPS team is participating in the West County Relay for Life. We will fundraise and walk in the 12 hour relay to support the American Cancer Society. It will be a night of honor, reflection, dedication, and celebration. There will be many fun family friendly activities planned for the night. I am very much looking forward to helping our MOPS group raise money for cancer research and to help cancer patients and their families. The small amount that we can do is worth so much. If you can, join our team, or make a donation. Click here to be direct to the MACC MOPS Relay for Life page.
Over the course of the next year we look forward to bringing you posts from members of our steering team, our mentor moms, MOPS Volunteer Staff and the MACC pastoral staff!