Kim Thiel is 54 and a survivor! Here is Kim's inspirational story of being diagnosed and surviving in her own words -
"My name is Kim Thiel. I’ve been married to my husband, Chuck for 32 yrs. and we have 2 grown daughters, Tiffany and Brittany. I’ve worked for Grand Blanc Schools as a Secretary for 36 years. I’ve also taught various exercise classes for 30+ years.
My story began at age 53 in 2013 when I was having a lot of indigestion issues and eventually led to feeling full quickly and bloating. I finally went to my doctor and he tried me on meds for indigestion for a couple of months but that didn’t help. I had an ultrasound of my gall bladder, nothing showed there. Then I thought maybe I had a hiatal hernia so my doctor ordered a CT scan on May 1, 2013 which showed a strong possibility of Ovarian Cancer. Exploratory surgery was performed on May 23, 2013 by an oncology surgeon in Grand Blanc and was confirmed ovarian cancer stage IV. Seven weeks after surgery I started chemo (taxol & Carboplatin) at U of M Cancer Center weekly for almost 5 months. A CT scan done in December 2013 showed no evidence of disease. I continue to report to my oncologist every 3 months.
While going through Chemo I tried to keep everything as normal as possible and kept a positive attitude. I did return to work at the school on a part-time basis in August 2013 and in January I returned to work full time. After surgery and all during chemo I walked daily and attended Zumba and Yoga classes. After about 11 weeks I started teaching some Yoga and Zumba.
Zumba was called my “Happy Hour” where I could have fun, feel supported and loved and not think about cancer. My journey would’ve been much harder without all the love and support from family, friends,
co-workers, and my “Salsa Sista’s” from Davison Athletic Club. I hope to continue to inspire, give hope and support others with ovarian cancer. MIOCA organization is a way to get support and resources. It also raises awareness about this deadly disease.
What I would like to pass on to others who have ovarian cancer is “Stay POSITIVE, BE STRONG and NEVER GIVE UP.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Kim.
Susan Williams is 39 and a survivor! Here is her inspirational story in her own words -
"I'm Susan and on my 39th birthday I found myself in the ER for the 2nd time in 5 days. In my heart I knew something was wrong but I could never have imagined what the doctors would say. All the blood work and scans pointed to the strong possibility of ovarian cancer. It didn't make sense. My husband and I clung to the hope that the doctors were wrong and everything was going to be fine. You see, no one in my family had ever had cancer and I had an 8 month old baby. I didn't think this was possible, but I quickly learned the cold, hard truth about cancer. Cancer does not discriminate and it doesn't care about being "only 39", good genetics, or little babies. Nine days later I met with my gynecologist/oncologist Dr. Rabbie Hanna at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and about 10 days after that had an 11 hour life saving surgery. I endured 6 months of Abraxane/Carboplatin chemo treatments and I am currently 11 weeks out from chemo and doing very well.
I've learned that cancer doesn't care but people do. Family, friends, doctors, awesome chemo nurses, and even complete strangers have offered love and support to my family and I. As a survivor I have the unique responsibility to reach out to others with my story of hope and to also support organizations like MIOCA. I know what it feels like to be diagnosed. I know what it feels like to be fine one minute and cry the next. I know what it feels like to carry the worry of recurrence but most importantly, I know what it feels like to be a survivor.
Today I am a survivor. Today I am a proud "Teal Sister."
Prayers and Inspiration to all my "Teal Sisters" and families.
Thanks for sharing this Susan!
Pamela Lynn (Farrier) Davidson was born October 22, 1959 in Flint, MI. She grew up and spent most of her adult life in Burton. Attended Atherton Schools where she still holds two track records. She married Jim on June 6, 1981. Pam worked at Carl’s Appliance for 24 years.
Pam was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer on August 11, 2014 at age 54. She went to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on August 26 and after 18 days and 2 surgeries was able to come home with a stage 1C diagnosis. After healing from her surgeries Pam continued her Zumba workouts 2-3 times a week all through Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy started on October 6th but just after Thanksgiving a CT scan showed a spot on her liver. After an MRI and liver biopsy, it was determined the cancer had spread in spite of chemotherapy. This was just before Christmas. After another surgery, where they performed an ablation on the liver tumor, they continued the treatment with a different drug.
On March 27th, they did another CT scan that showed two spots on her lungs. The doctor changed chemo once more. She had one treatment on April 10th and on the afternoon of April 14th (8 months after being diagnosed) she started having trouble breathing and at 6 pm that evening she passed away from a blood clot in her lungs.
Pam was an inspiration to all her family and friends. While deeply missed she will live on in our hearts and memories forever.
Jim Davidson - Thank you for sharing your story of Pam.