Remembering Kim

 

JF-kims-story-154x200KIM played volleyball at Forreston High School and graduated in 1996.

She received a 4 year scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design.

Before she went back to college her Junior year, she wanted to see a dermatologist about her complexion.

The doctor noticed a mole on her left front shoulder that he wanted to check.

In the meantime, Kim went back to school. A week later, we got a call that her mole was melanoma.

They removed quite a bit, and we were reassured that all was take care of.

We were never told that she should see an oncologist. WHY? She just had a mole.

Kim stayed out of the sun or always wore sunscreen if she was going to be in it. We thought that would keep it away.

As parents, we never went to the internet to find out about Melanoma.

We just thought it was a mole. Not deadly skin cancer.

We did not know that it would reappear as a BRAIN TUMOR AND A TUMOR in her stomach that eventually ruptured her color and took her life.

Melanoma is the most chemo resistant, fastest growing cancer that there is.

Nothing could stop the growth of the tumor.

There are no blood barriers for Melanoma. Tumors can be everywhere.

KIM fought a tough 8 month battle and lost on January 7th, 2010.

Her family just wants everyone to realize that Melanoma is not just about checking for moles.

It is cancer!

Go to the internet and check out the websites about Melanoma and read about the best things to do to help prevent it.

 

follow-up: A NOTE RECEIVED FROM KIM’S PARENTS in 2013

 Hi Sharon,

 I would be able to email. I think that would be easiest for me. I wish we would have had something. I still do. Kim’s birthday was just on March 4th and as you know, it is a hard time.

She had two girls that are 9 and 6 now and the oldest one remembers too much ( hospitals and chemo,etc.) and Ericka was only 2 and doesn’t remember her much, but talks about her

all the time. So hard! 

I often wonder if there was something that we should have been doing after she had the mole removed. I had absolutely no idea how deadly melanoma was. And incurable. In hindsight,

maybe it was a good thing I didn’t know.

I would have been worried all the time. Kim did keep out of the sun as much as she could and always wore sunscreen.

 I do have a story to share. My husband and I have a volleyball club.

 We had tryouts and teams picked and parents had made their first payments.

 We had a mother call and leave a message with my husband wondering if she could get her money back, as her daughter had surgery and the doctors did not want her to play for 6 weeks.

 Since Rick is hard of hearing, he asked me to call her and let her know that she could have her money back. During the conversation, I said- I hope your daughter recovers soon from her surgery and hoped everything was ok.

SHe said she had a mole removed and it was skin cancer. I asked, was It melanoma and she said yes. I hesitated for a few moments and asked myself if I should tell her Kims story and scare

the #^&$ out of her, or should I keep my mouth shut.

It didn’t take me long to think that I wish there would have been someone to tell me what I know now. So I told her that Kim had her mole removed and went in for further surgery to get more removed.

And that she ended up getting a brain tumor 13 years later and that she passed away. I told her that if she was scared and had questions or wanted a second opinion that there was a wonderful Dr. named Jon Richards, that was a specialist and she should take Nicole to him. I gave them his address and number.

Two weeks later, she texted me to thank me for sending them to him. He noticed some differences in her tests and wanted to more testing. They really liked him (like I knew they would).

Nicole felt so much better after speaking to Dr. Richards also.

I told the mom, that maybe that is why she came to our volleyball club(there are 3 in our area), so that we could meet and I could share my story.

This was all around Christmas time.

This is the time also that Kim was so sick. I told the mom that it was a sad time for us and she said don’t be sad, you are my guardian angel and you may have saved my daughter.

So I think that my angel up there may have given me the strength to tell my story to this mom.

Thought I would share this with you.

Let me know what you would like me to do about to help you with the project.

Sincerely,

Beth Manus