Hi, this is Margie LaRoche, a long-time friend of Kim Lavinder. I wanted to share her story and help her find a way to keep her home so she can heal in peace. I am on a team with Kim and friends organizing this fundraiser. Please read on to learn of her courage and strength and what brings us to this urgent appeal for your help…

My dear friend, Kim, is on the verge of losing her home, after spending the last year in her 4th battle with breast cancer. She is still recovering from treatment and a recent stroke. Donate today to ensure she keeps her home.

Kim was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and has since undergone over a dozen cancer related surgeries. She’s had 3 recurrences, all in her reconstructed breast. During her 3rd battle, her husband suddenly, without warning, moved out, which left her facing cancer and great financial challenges on her own. In early 2020, she began a 4th battle with this relentless disease, beginning with a double mastectomy, followed by several months of chemotherapy due to lymph node involvement. At the end of chemo, she suffered a stroke, and while still recovering, began radiation treatment. Her treatments (including 5 to 10 years on cancer preventative medication), along with the stroke, have resulted in fatigue, aches and pain that hinder full and normal functioning. She may well have a long road to recovery, but Kim is a fighter!

Some of us surprised Kim at Hopkins on her last day of chemo,
September 2020...

Loss of Income, Fight to Live, Divorce, Loss of Home

Kim is facing a divorce trial scheduled for February 2021 (due to covid, trial was cancelled and converted to March 2021 mandatory settlement hearing). Without financial assistance, she will lose her home as a result. She lost her job in March 2020 due to the pandemic and has since faced incredible hardship, living alone, fighting for her life, isolated from loved ones as a high risk for Covid-19. It is unreasonable and an outrage to expect someone in her condition, amidst an ongoing pandemic, to be uprooted from her home. Searching for a place to live, packing up an entire household and lifetime of belongings, then physically relocating herself and everything she owns is not conducive to healing, which is what’s most important for Kim right now. She is facing several more breast cancer related surgeries between now and mid 2023, including one in late fall 2021, and another in early spring 2022. She had the 1st of these 5 or 6 surgeries in April 2021, then in June 2021 had a surgical procedure to close the hole found in her heart; a hole that likely contributed to her stroke. We need to find a way for her to keep her home so she can continue healing without the fear of having to vacate before March 2022. If she is unable to refinance/buy the house before then, her ex-husband will get the house, leaving her homeless.

Her small house has been her place of respite and healing and is much more affordable than rentals in the area. She has a decade of memories there, hosting friends and family gatherings. She’s poured her heart, energy, and resources in to renovating and maintaining it over the years. Her neighbors are kind and supportive in her times of need. Her son and daughter, both in their twenties, want to see their mom heal without the hardship of being uprooted from “home”; her place of rest, peace, and comfort.

With her daughter and son, when life was a bit more carefree,
May 2016...


Kim needs to prove she can afford her house by early February 2021 (per March 2021 divorce settlement, she now has until early January 2022 to qualify for refinancing).  100% of donations received will go directly toward helping Kim refinance the mortgage or purchase her house, depending on the amount raised, ensuring she can stay and continue healing in the comfort and safety of her home.

The goal is for Kim to be able to stay in her home, continue healing, and face any further health challenges that may come her way, without financial burdens. Kim’s health condition henceforth is uncertain; precisely why moving out of her home any time soon is just too overwhelming.

Her little cottage home; friends surprised her and put up lights,
December 2020...


Besides giving to this campaign, you can SHARE the link to help get the word out!  By sharing on your Facebook timelines, other social media platforms, email contact lists, etc., you’ll be helping to spread the word as far and wide as possible! If we can reach enough people who are able to donate, we can usher in nothing short of a miracle for Kim!


Kim has such a kind, caring, grateful heart, even through all that she’s endured. She has touched many lives and accomplished a lot in her 56 years (now 57), and dreams of doing so much more to help and inspire others. Her friends and family have already shown an outpouring of love and support via prayers, time, talent, and resources. For all the love and care shown her from so many, she is deeply grateful. Now, we need to reach beyond our immediate circles, out to the larger community, in order to raise enough funds for her to stay in her home.

Kim has not ever before needed to ask for help of this magnitude. During her 1st marriage of 20 years, she was a devoted, nurturing stay-at-home mom who worked part-time jobs and tirelessly volunteered for school, church, and community organizations. In her 2nd marriage (divorced March 2021), she worked part-time jobs, helped her husband in his home business, and was trying to grow her own home business as a watercolor artist, all while facing the challenges of multiple bouts with breast cancer, caring for her senior dog, and assisting in the caretaking of her elderly mother. When her 2nd husband literally vanished just 4 days before Christmas in 2017 during her 3rd cancer ordeal, as soon as she was well enough and capable, she began working in catering to make ends meet. Now, without a secure income and again dealing with serious medical challenges, she needs to seek help in order to survive and thrive. One thing is for sure; whenever she is able, in whatever way she can, she will pay it forward, taking nothing for granted. She has been a helper, supporter, and caretaker most of her life. She is a bright being with an infectious smile who lifts spirits and puts others at ease. Let’s work together to help ease her burden, and give her hope for better, brighter tomorrows. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for doing anything you can to help my dear friend, Kim, in her greatest time of need.  With love, Margie LaRoche
Recent message from a friend to Kim: “My beautiful warrior friend. You’re always inspiring to me. I want to give you strength but instead you seem to give me strength.” Kitty O’Dowd

Christmas elves working on a surprise gift of holiday lights for Kim,
December 2020...

Kim watching as the busy elves decorate her house with lights,
December 2020...

Her hair just starting to grow back,
November 2020...

At AAMC, admitted for a stroke, her joyful spirit shining through,
October 2020...

Wearing a vibrant, color coordinated mask and hat ensemble,
Summer 2020...

With a shorter haircut, preparing for it to fall out from chemo,
Spring 2020...

Getting ready to head home after double mastectomy,
March 2020...

With her precious pup, Rosie, before she passed, 2016...

Engaged in a favorite activity, painting with watercolors, 2013...

Modeling at the Critters For The Cure Fashion Show with her pup,
March 2012...

With Rosie, 3 years post 1st mastectomy w/reconstruction,
March 2012...

All the survivor models and their pups; Kim in bright green,
March 2012...

Kim's cottage a few years back, ready for her Holiday Art Sale...
Please help her save her humble home, so she can heal in peace...
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Fundraising team (3)

Kimberly Schultz Lavinder 
Raised $9,513 from 62 donations
Edgewater, MD
Joni Graham 
Team member
Raised $1,450 from 24 donations
Marguerite LaRoche 
Team member
Raised $700 from 5 donations