My Friend, My Hero, Kim

Mother Goose has a very dear friend and her name is Kim. The first thing I want to tell you about Kim is this: she’s wife to Gerry (who works two jobs to support their family) and mom to four really great kids.

Kim has homeschooled their oldest, Theresa, for the past seven years. Theresa will be graduating from high school this spring, and will continue her studies in music composition and performance when she gets to college in the fall. She’s an all-state calibre flutist!

Kim also has three sons, Emmanuel, Nathaniel and Samuel. Nathaniel was diagnosed with autism shortly after entering public school six years ago. Emmanuel is a musician like his sister. Sammy will start kindergarten in the fall. They also have two miniature greyhounds, Daisy and Luigi.

Kim is a home remodeler, a virtuoso gardener and has spent thousands of hours taxiing her kids to music lessons and performances. Of course, she covers the basics (cooking, cleaning and laundering) very well — her home is comfortable and so charming.

Kim is a cancer survivor.

Kim was quite sick when she was pregnant with Sammy, much more sick than she had been with any of her other pregnancies. After he was born, Kim was still sick with various illnesses — her immune system seemed to have disappeared completely. They visited the doctor’s office frequently, but it took several months for the doctors to diagnose her with AML — acute myelogenous leukemia. She received numerous blood transfusions, underwent all the usual and horrible cancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.) and then finally in November of 2008, a bone marrow transplant.

Kim was hospitalized for weeks at a time while she fought against the cancer. Her kids were cared for by loving family and friends, and her husband drove back and forth (round trip of nearly 80 miles) from their home in Glendale Heights to the University of Chicago medical center to spend as much time as he could with Kim.

During this crisis in their family, Kim continued to write up lesson plans for Theresa and monitor the other children’s progress at school. Of course, she agonized about the family’s well-being, especially baby Sammy. She was absent from her family for nearly three months — allowed only the occasional short visit home and then back in the hospital for more treatments and preparations for the transplant.

During these times, Kim and I would talk on the phone. We’d cry together and pray together — we’d ask the Lord for strength and healing for Kim and for comfort and hope for Gerry and the kids, and wisdom for the doctors and compassion for the nurses. We talked on and on about these unbelievable challenges in her life, and so many times we asked “Why?”

I never gave up on her — even when she was at her lowest point and wanted to just give up, I would tell her “it’s going to be OK” because what else would a friend say, right?

I’m so grateful to report that these days, Kim is active and healthy again. Her body accepted the donated bone marrow, and she’s strong and busy with life. Sometimes she feels like she catches every virus that comes in the house, and the secondary infections that come from taking antibiotics, but SHE’S ALIVE and SHE’S WELL and she’s with her precious family and friends.

Mostly Mother Goose wants you to know that Kim’s faith in God has completely inspired Mother Goose. When I find myself in discouraging and troubling situations (and as a goose, this does happen to me), I know that Kim will still love me and listen to my stuff. She is full of Jesus and generously shares His love. Honk honk! A round of applause for my friend and hero, Kim! Join Mother Goose and flap your wings and stomp your old webbed feet in her honor and support today!

She's one of the most beautiful women I know.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianna
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 15:15:16

    Wings a-flapping and old webbed feet a-stomping for Kim! What an inspiring story. How wonderful that she witnessed to you while going through her own trials and tribulations.

    Wishing only the brightest days ahead for your friend, Kim. Honk-honk!

    Reply

  2. Natalie
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 16:01:48

    Dianna, thanks so much! She’s so amazing!

    Reply

  3. Kim
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 20:38:03

    Natalie, I am truely blessed to have your friendship. I have always been in awe of your kindness, sincerity, and unconditional love. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute…from such a beautiful heart. You are a treasure to me.

    Reply

  4. Three Well Beings
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 23:29:08

    I am so glad to hear that Kim has done so well! I cannot imagine going through a BMT with a young family! To be separated for that long was undoubtedly agony. I have been in close relationship with friends in Cancer treatment and I know what a marathon race it is for everyone involved–even those of us who are simply in the cheering section. I don’t know how anyone goes through these times without the Lord, I really don’t. What a wonderful celebration, Mother Goose. Blessings, Debra

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:33:30

      Debra, thanks so much. Kim’s treatment for cancer went from Labor Day in September until the end of October, and so many people were involved in caring for her family. It took a village to manage all the childcare, meals, prayers, and transportation. I’m so thankful that I could be a small part of that.

      Reply

  5. yearstricken
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 20:06:50

    She sounds like an amazing woman and a great role model.

    Reply

  6. eof737
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 19:44:10

    Glad to read that she’s doing better… Praise God.

    Reply

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