If you were to meet Kim Lynn you would be immediately struck by her upbeat and positive attitude to life. No matter what life has given Kim, she never loses sight of hope.
A mother to three children, Kim’s life turned upside down when in 2014 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kim recalls the day she found a lump. “My instincts told me that it wasn’t going to be good, and unfortunately my doctor confirmed my fears”, she said.
That day set Kim on the path to do everything possible to beat cancer. It also led her to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre).
“I became involved with the ONJ Centre when my Oncologist, (Associate) Professor Shane White, said there was an opportunity for me to go on a clinical trial. So we gave it a go and for four months we had a really good run. The cancer cleared up quite significantly, its size was reduced.”
As things were beginning to look up for Kim, unfortunately the cancer returned earlier this year. “I had to give up the trial. I couldn’t get my head wrapped around anything. It was like I had to make so many decisions.”
Thankfully the wellness programs at the Wellness Centre are helping Kim cope both mentally and emotionally. “It’s a quiet and lovely space to have some time out when you need to and if you’re not sure where to go, you come here,” Kim explained. It is thanks to you and our wonderful community that we are able to offer these vital wellness programs to people like Kim and her family who are going through an enormously stressful and scary time.
Gabby Wynne, a psychologist at the ONJ Centre, is providing invaluable support to Kim and her family. “I’ve been to Gabby a couple of times… she’s lovely and very knowledgeable. She’s always really helpful. I don’t really have a lot of time and I was saying to her that I would love to learn a musical instrument. The next night one of the music therapists from the ONJ Centre rang me…”
Oncology massage has also helped Kim. She explains that “oncology massage is a little bit different to normal massage. They understand what areas I want to focus on that day, areas to avoid, find out where I can lay and how I can lay… it’s really calming.”
Although the prognosis is not good for Kim, her positive attitude keeps her going. In 2016 Kim had hoped to participate in the Wellness Walk and Research Run. However, surgery to remove cancerous lumps ten days prior to the walk left her unable to participate.
“I couldn’t stand up straight and really go very far – but I just wanted somehow to be there, I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen. I felt well enough to at least be there. My girlfriends drove me to the Walk and the next minute a cart was ready for me to hop on. Then Olivia came over. It was really nice, I felt really special”, Kim reminisced.
This year Kim was determined to not only be at the Wellness Walk but to also participate. Over 30 family and friends came together to walk with her. The outpouring of encouragement Kim received “left me speechless.” She said, “I think of how lucky and blessed I am to have this family here, and all the support I have out there. I am really lucky at the end of the day.”
“I want to one day meet my grandchildren, I want to see my kids get married, I want to be at their weddings, I still want it all. I figure I am going to defy the odds.”
The Wellness Centre provides patients like Kim access to vital programs committed to ensuring they are cared for physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Relying on donor support for survival, your help is vital. Please donate today.