“Kim inspires me” just really doesn’t say it. I even downloaded a thesaurus app and looked for a work that fits better and there just isn’t a word strong enough. Maybe she needs her own word. Kim was struck down with Oposoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia Syndrome earlier this summer. One day she ran a couple miles with a friend, and the next day she couldn’t walk. It strikes one in ten million people, and a vast majority of those are young children with neuroblastoma. Adults who get this out of the clear blue are so rare that it’s a miracle if they are properly diagnosed. Her entire story is on her blog, Kim’s Dancing Eyes, and I encourage you to read it and share it with everyone you know. Just a passing glance at her story could spark a “Hey, what about that weird dancing eyes thing I read about?” that could get someone properly diagnosed.
When Kim first got her diagnosis she also got a very grim prognosis. Her neurologist told her to expect to be permanently disabled and to get in contact with the School for the Blind and start learning Braille. He ordered physical therapy and a wheelchair. Two months and a lot of hard work and harder prayers later Kim reads, she works on the computer, she texts on her phone, she DRIVES. The wheelchair is gone, and so is the cane. She walks normally, and she dances. She can’t hula-hoop, but she couldn’t do that before she was sick. She’ll be coming back to work in a month (THANK GOD!!)
The T-shirt she’s wearing in the picture is for a run she’s entered in later this month. Kim’s a marathon runner. No, she’s not going to run the entire race, but she’s going to walk parts of it, accompanying members of “her team” on the course. And the visors they will be wearing read “God’s Got This!”, which has been Kim’s catchphrase during this experience. Where others would have had a crisis of faith, a clinical depression, and a straining of the bonds of family and friendship Kim has blossomed. From early on she saw this as an opportunity to educate people about this rare and often life-altering disease process. Her family and friends value Kim all the more because of what she has overcome, and she values them for their support. Her faith is stronger than ever, and her attitude is as positive as I have ever seen it (and she’s pretty darn perky baseline!).
Say a little thank-you prayer today if you can see, if you can walk – because you never know who will be struck down next. Of course this is part of the SITS Back to Blogging Event, but I’m also linking up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, since one of her prompts this week is about an inspiring woman!
Remember Thelma and Louise? They will go home with one lucky participant in the SITS Back To Blogging Event, and I think they would be happiest at my house. In fact, I am prepared to repaint and replace the flooring in my pantry / laundry room just to make them feel comfy. Here are the people responsible for Thelma and Louise: Standards of Excellence, Westar, and Florida Builder Appliances. I don’t know who the genius is that came up with the idea to manufacture these in that perfectly gorgeous shade of turquoise, but I hope they got a big bonus!