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Walline Family Fund

$32,705 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 379 people in 11 months
Created July 13, 2017
Our good friends and neighbors, Kim and Mike Walline, are fighting a battle they never thought they would have to fight together.  That battle is cancer.  Two heartbreaking diagnoses.  Two battles in one that they are facing side-by-side.

Mike and Kim live in Aurora, their beloved state of Colorado, with their two children and matching dogs.  They met on the job.  Kim was a court reporter.  She loves ballet, riding her bike, and running.  Mike has been a sheriff for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for the past 37 years.  They married, had two children of their own and raised Mike's older son as well.  Their life story could have been a typical American Dream except for the turn of fate that it took two years ago.

It all started with a funny pain on Kim’s upper back, a pain which would not go away, no matter what she did.  When the pain became too much, she went to see her doctor.  Within the matter of a couple of days, in August 2015, Kim went from being an otherwise healthy individual to being a cancer patient with a diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer  that had metastasized to her spine.  Needless to say it was a shock, but that is the case for most cancer patients and there was no time for feeling sorry.  Kim underwent a first round of radiations on her spine, which helped shrink the tumors.  Due to a gene mutation, she found out that she qualified for a pill form of a targeted therapy versus chemotherapy.  A blessing in itself which allowed her to enjoy a better quality of life for the next few months.  She outlived her treatment by all standards, but sadly found out in February of this year that the pill did not cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus the cancer had spread to her brain.  So the fight was back and more complicated, as she embarked on a new clinical trial with a new targeted pill which will hopefully attack not only the tumors in her brain, but throughout her body.

The story could stop here for now...  Sadly, it does not.  While Kim had to step down from her job, Mike stepped up working extra hours and extra days to afford Kim’s treatment and to keep the family’s finances afloat.  Considering the extra time he was spending on the job nobody thought much of his lingering fatigue – not even himself.  Until one day, three weeks ago, he could not ignore his symptoms any longer.  He was rushed to the ER, and within the same day, he also went from being a “tired,” but otherwise healthy man to a cancer patient with a diagnosis of AML, acute myeloid leukemia.  As of today Mike has not been able to leave the hospital since the day he entered.  He is undergoing intense chemotherapy treatment to deplete his white blood cells, then rejuvenate them, in the hope to push him into remission.  Kim is there every day by his side, though she just found out that her brain tumors have started growing again, giving way to more treatment and uncertainty.

Cancer is scary enough as it is, but what keeps Mike and Kim awake at night is providing a future for their children.  Thomas just graduated from Grandview High School and is planning on attending Metro State University in the fall.  Keira is an avid ballet dance (just like her mom!!)  and she will be entering 8th grade at Falcon Creek Middle School.  The financial aspect of two parents battling the same devastating disease is daunting, but even more daunting is the emotional aspect of their children’s future. 

Please, share Mike and Kim’s story and if you find it in your heart to help, it would be much appreciated.  Two cancer diagnoses and treatments should not be faced alone.

God Bless,
Katherine Gaston & Regine Kuttner
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Happy Valentine’s Day……..well almost. I know that it has been a while since our last update but there has been a lot going on in the Walline household. So here are some updates:

MIKE

Mike got his final results from 3-mo bone marrow biopsy and all is good. It shows that he is officially in remission at this time. Mike continues to keep fighting by keeping active with workouts at the gym and being positive. He has exceeded his doctors’ expectations and goals and hopes to continue on that path. But because of Mike's compromised immune system during the first year post-transplant, his workplace could not find a suitable area for him to return to that would be safe per the doctor's recommendation, so he had to take a separation from what he has known and loved for 38 years; law enforcement. He finds himself restructuring his days and concentrating on healing and other important day-to-day realities that have become the forefront. He is hopeful to return to full-time work after this year is up and his immune system is strong again.

KIM:

The scan results from the pancreatitis showed a cecal volvulus indicating the need for immediate surgery. However, after a surgery consult, the surgeon felt the pancreatitis was most likely the volvulus to begin with. This is something that can come and go, and surgery for this is done typically only in an emergency situation when the condition is flared. So, bottom line, NO SURGERY for now unless it flares up again. Also the thinking is this may have been caused due to the current medication that Kim is taking to fight the cancer but no way of making that determination. Otherwise, she is doing well. Her next scans, brain, chest and abdomen, are in a week. Feeling positive as always! Kim has been back to the ballet studio with her sweet daughter and taking some adult classes. She has decided to understudy the adults in the upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty. She said that “This is motivation to get myself up and out and moving. No, there is nothing pretty about the site of me trying to be graceful at this point, but it is unbelievably healing! I truly think hospitals need to have ballet classes for cancer patients!!!” I love that Kim is ALWAYS keeping her spirits up and staying positive.

Thank you all for your incredible donations over the past several months. I collected donations of giftcards for the kids so that they could have a memorable Christmas and I was amazed at the love that poured out from not only friends but also from complete strangers. I had strangers dropping off donations at my house and I even met someone at the grocery store who wanted to donate. I had one of my amazing friends, Shawn Grafitti, head up purchasing a full Christmas breakfast, appetizers, dinner and dessert and collecting the donations for that. I cannot thank you all enough. When Regine and I sat at my kitchen table separating all the gift cards and cash to each of the three bags for Thomas, Keira and Kim & Mike, my heart felt so full that there are so many great people in this world. I know if we all were to focus on giving to others and taking care of the less fortunate that this world would be a better place.

I treasure all of my talks with Kim these days because when all this crud keeps going on that we can still laugh about it and we always can see the GOOD and count the BLESSINGS in our lives. So thank you Kim, for always making me see the gifts in our lives. And as long as you do I will continue to keep you laughing girl! It is what I am good at.

Many Blessings,
Katherine

And now a word from Kim…….

Other than dealing with the nasty side-effects of the medication that both Mike and I deal with on a daily basis, we have no complaints. Okay, well, other than the roll of one crazy, horrible and sad thing after another happening since the week I landed in the hospital in December up until two weeks ago. Starting with our personal account being defrauded, to a CO2 leak in the furnace which lead to the unexpected purchase of a new furnace, to one of the worker guys working on the furnace letting our beloved dog out of the backyard and getting hit by a car and dying in front of our very eyes. I would like to think we have had our three and are done. Sometimes when we wonder, Are we being tested? Why is this happening? But then when we feel this unbelievable love wrapped around us during those times, the whispers of calmness and knowing it's going to be okay, that's when there is no doubt and it is all faith and it is all good.

Mike and I and our family want to thank every single person, and all collectively, who have helped since this campaign has started and those who sent delicious meals at the holidays and other gifts as well. The amount of love and support is truly a blessing for us. It has helped and continues to help in so many ways.

Love,
Mike, Kim, Keira and Thomas
In memory of sweet FOREST.
Forest RIP
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Dear family, friends, neighbors, and others we've not had the opportunity to meet personally:

Mike and I would like to thank each one of you for your loving, generous support of our family. It truly has been a tremendous blessing in time of need.

I had a dream recently of myself, my mother, and two sisters in this huge field. We were tiny little people and everyone was dressed in bright yellow; the women in dresses. It was bright and beautiful! But above was dark and all around us was dark and ominous! And I woke up and thought about this, and it was so perfect. This is how I have always thought, and still do: Live by faith and hope even in a dark, ominous world.

Our family has been amazed by the outpouring of kindness, love and generosity that has been shown over the holidays and since this campaign has started. Our hearts are full.

A quick health update:

Kim: since being home from hospital, recovering well and feeling better and better every day. Getting back to normal. Have a scan this Tuesday for the pancreatitis. Assuming all will be good. Normal monthly appointment the following week.

Mike: just had his 3-mo bone marrow biopsy. Heard today that preliminary results are good! Waiting for final results. He continues to do well!

On another note...thomas leaves for college this week. I may need some comforting. lol. So happy for him!!!

Love,
The Walline Family
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GREAT NEWS..............................Kim was sprung from the hospital yesterday afternoon. It is going to be a great Christmas after all.

Happiest of Holidays to Everyone.
xo Katherine
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We are all hoping that Kim can be sprung from the hospital sometime this week. Please keep the prayers coming. I went to visit with Kim on Friday and her spirits were good despite the pain from the pancreatitis. Regine and I paid her another visit this afternoon and she was looking and feeling so much better. She was even able to eat a little at breakfast this morning which is a first since being admitted last Tuesday.

I have had a lot of interest in people wanting to help out with holidays. The kids didn't have much on their Christmas list and I haven't been able to physically get the list yet from Mike. So we decided that if anyone wants to help out that the best way would be in gift cards. Both kids could find shopping fun at Target and Kim said that since Thomas is a typical boy and doesn't like to shop in stores but does love to shop online that Amazon cards are great for him. Especially since he leaves for college next month that he could definitely use either Target or Amazon for school/dorm supplies. And right now Keira loves to shop at Tilly's for clothes. Regine and I also thought of gift cards to King Soopers for Kim & Mike as another idea too.

If you would like to donate please feel free to email me at klgaston68@gmail.com or call/text me at 720-233-7126. Cards could be brought to my house by Friday and we will deliver to Kim and Mike on Sunday.

Unfortunately, I am not able to respond to comments on this GoFundMe page.....or I haven't figured that out. So I apologize to Tina Nelson for not responding to you. Please get in touch with me this week.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. They mean the world to Kim and her family. We are going to continue to pray that Kim is out by Friday so that she can see Keira dance in the Denver Ballet Theater's performance of The Nutcracker this Friday and Saturday.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me already wanting to know how to help. I will keep you all updated this week.

“Hope is seeing LIGHT in spite of being surrounded by darkness.”

Keeping the Faith.
Katherine
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$32,705 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 379 people in 11 months
Created July 13, 2017
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