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Please help Kim fight Brain Cancer!

$68,445 of $125,000 goal

Raised by 300 people in 3 months
Created May 5, 2019
Fundraising Team
39010270_1557097146832489_r.jpeg39010270_1557097194410441_r.jpeg39010270_1557097225722224_r.jpegOn April 4th 2019 Kim was airlifted to the hospital after suffering a major seizure.  She was in the hospital for 11 days as they tried to diagnose the abnormalities in her brain.  She was released and told to see a neurologist, and did, but ended up back in the hospital on April 24th 2019. Since Kim’s condition was declining, she had an MRI that showed massive inflammation.  She was rushed in to emergency surgery due to the amount of pressure that had built up in her brain.  To help relieve the pressure, they had to remove part of her skull.  During surgery they discovered that the abnormality was actually a Large B cell Lymphoma.  They were able to take out 50% of the tumor.  Kim had another surgery on May 1st to remove a blood clot that had formed due to the first surgery. They didn’t take out more of the tumor due to the risk of additional damage to her brain.  The doctors feel her tumor is best treated with immunotherapy, radiation and chemo. 

Every two hours the nurses perform a neurological test on Kim to see how she’s improving.  She has been able to open both eyes and recognize her family and loved ones. Kim still struggles with moving the right side of her body and following some of the cognitive tests, but is improving each day.

Today is May 7th 2019 and Kim is still intubated and is going to have a tracheostomy in a few hours.  She also needs to start radiation, and when she is strong enough, chemo.  The immunotherapy was started on Friday.  She also developed an infection in her brain and she is receiving antibiotics for that.  One more thing for her to fight.  

Many of you know Kim and how much of a fighter she is, but not all fights can be won alone. Kim is going to be in the hospital for a long time and unable to work for many months if at all. She will need therapy in order to fully recover. A timeline for her recovery/release has not been established and we are taking things one day at a time.  With that, we all know life doesn’t stop no matter what is thrown at us, and support from friends, family, and loved ones goes a long way. We have set a goal of $125,000 to help pay for Kim’s hospital bills, both present and future, and her other monthly bills.  She has already received some hefty bills from the first hospitalization.  To be honest, we don't really know how much all of this is going to cost, but if there is money left over, we will donate the funds to brain tumor research.   

Thank you for reading this. Please share this with your loved ones and remember life can change in an instant.  It certainly did for Kim and her family.  The more support we have for Kim the faster she’ll be back on her feet warming all our hearts with her beautiful charm and smile.  Any amount you can give is appreciated. Help us get Kim home.
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August 9, 2019
Update on Kim –
A lot has happened since the last update….
The benefit for Kim went very well. The band raised over $7000 for Kim! It was amazing how many people came out to support Kimmie. There were t-shirts, a silent auction, a raffle, and food and drink specials with the proceeds going to Kim. Angels Trumpet Ale House was packed, and the band sounded great. We are so grateful for all the support.

Kim recovered from her second round of chemo and went to Neuro rehab for a week. The facility is attached to the hospital, so she was able to continue seeing the doctors who have been treating her. Before she went to rehab, with a lot of help from her speech therapist Katrina, she was also given the clearance to eat, and her trach was removed! Her first request was for a Taco Bell bean and cheese burrito with sour cream. Everything she ate or drank for the first couple of weeks was “so good”. It has taken a little longer for the incision to heal than we thought, but the more it closes, the stronger her voice becomes.

While she was in rehab, Kim had another MRI. It showed that there was still a small part of the tumor remaining. The tumor had been very large, and was now just a sliver. But because there was still a small part remaining, the decision was made to bring her back to the hospital and do a third round of chemo. They didn’t want it to start growing again. We’ve been back in the hospital for a little over a week. Kim had round three and as soon as her counts come back up she will have the feeding tube removed and will be moved back to rehab. The feeding tube was left in to make sure she would be able to eat enough during the third round of chemo. That has not been a problem! She will stay in rehab for approximately a week and a half, and then come back to the hospital for one last (hopefully) round of chemo, and then back to rehab. She has a lot of things to work on – limited movement on her right side, her memory, and regaining her strength, but she is a fighter. And of course she still needs the surgery to replace the bone in her head.

She has made so much progress, and it is truly amazing. When she started talking and interacting with everyone she really blew people away. It seems as if no one expected her to recover this much, and certainly not have so many gains in such a short time. As soon as the tumor started to get smaller, it was like she started to wake up. We are so uplifted by her progress.

When we left the hospital on the 23rd to go to rehab, the nurses got together and gave her a cute little stuffed animal and a card. They lined the hallway and applauded for her as she was wheeled off of the unit. It was very touching for us and for Kim. She had no idea why they would do that, but thought it was nice. It seems she doesn’t remember a lot of her time here, which is fine. We remember and are grateful for all the help she has received to get her to this point.
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July 13, 2019
Apologies for not updating sooner! Kim is still at St. Joe’s, but may be able to go to rehab soon. She did really well with the first round of chemo and cleared it from her system pretty quickly. There were several days where she needed platelets, blood or hemoglobin, but overall it went very well. She started round 2 on Wednesday and it also went really well. Her blood counts are starting to go down as expected, but are not too bad yet.

We have started to see encouraging signs that the chemo is working. She is trying to talk! She isn’t making any sound yet, but is mouthing words. We need to get better at lip reading, because she gets frustrated when she is trying to tell us something and we don’t get it. Her dexterity is also getting better. She still can’t move her right side, but is much better with her left hand than before. She is learning to write with her left hand on paper and an iPad so she can communicate with us. More of her personality is starting to come out, which is so great to see.

She is also doing well in physical, occupational and speech therapy. The therapists here have gone above and beyond to think of ways to help her. She has been given the clearance to eat ice chips, the first step in being able to eat again. Rachel, her OT, arranged for her to take a shower yesterday. It was her first since April 24th. It wore her out, but she enjoyed it. There is still a long road ahead of her, but her recent progress is very encouraging.

Within the next two weeks she will have another MRI so the doctors can see what is left of the tumor. At that point they will decide how much more chemo she will need. We are hoping that she will be able to go to the neuro rehab here instead of having to go to another facility.

Tonight her brother Marty and his band El West, are putting on a benefit show for her at a local restaurant, Angels Trumpet Ale House. They wanted to help her and this is a great way to do it. It will be a fun event with a raffle, t-shirts, silent auction, great music, drinks and food. She would love it, if she were able to go.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support, it means the world to us.
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Update June 20, 2019
Kim is finally getting Chemo! She already received the first round; it started on Sunday. She won’t start to feel fatigued or nauseous for several more days. She will get very weak and be susceptible to infection, but they will monitor her very closely. After she recovers from this round of chemo, she will likely stay at the hospital until her next round about 3 weeks from now. Due to all of her brain surgeries, they want to keep her close by to monitor her labs etc. Two weeks after the second round, they will do an MRI to see what change there has been. If it is working and she is tolerating the chemo well, there will be at least two more rounds.

In the last few days she has been engaging with us, smiling, giving hand signals and making us laugh. She can’t talk yet, so sometimes it is hard to tell what she is thinking, or needs. However, she can communicate a lot with her eyebrows! She is also doing better with PT, OT and Speech. They have been wonderful and we are very pleased with her progress. She hasn’t been able to stand up since April 25th, so imagine how weak she has become. They are working with her on communication, since nodding yes or no only goes so far. We hope that the effects of the chemo won’t set her back too much, but that can’t be helped. It seems that the radiation has helped to shrink the tumor, but the chemo is the only thing that will get rid of it.

One bright spot for her is when the therapy dogs come to visit. This is Bridger.
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Update June 3rd, 2019

This was another week of setbacks and surprises. We were surprised on Tuesday to find out that she would soon be discharged, possibly by Friday the 31st. We needed to find a rehab or skilled nursing facility that would take Kim, while she got strong enough to start Chemo. Although we knew where we wanted her to go, we were told that we should look at several places because there was no guarantee that she would be able to go where we wanted her to go. Yikes! In the meantime, we as a family felt that there were some changes that weren’t being addressed. Little things that don’t mean much on their own, but added together, paint a picture of significant change. She wasn’t moving her left side as much. She stopped mouthing words to us. Started being more tired. Wouldn’t give a “thumbs up” when asked, etc. We requested an MRI, and the doctors agreed to order one.
The MRI was done on Thursday the 30th and showed that her tumor had grown significantly and there are actually multiple lesions now. We consulted with the oncologist and were told that her best option at this point is radiation. The idea is to buy her some time, (again!) so we can get her strong enough for chemo. She had her first round of five on Friday. Her last one is tomorrow. Whether or not she will need another round beyond this one is up in the air. We don’t know yet what effect the radiation has had or will have. For now, the transfer to a rehab facility is on hold until we know more. We expect to have more information by Monday, so we will let everyone know.
Your continued thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated. #kimmiestrong
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$68,445 of $125,000 goal

Raised by 300 people in 3 months
Created May 5, 2019
Fundraising Team
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