Patient and Wife of Supercross Champion Writes Letter of Thanks

Posted June 18th, 2012 by Be The Match and filed in News, Patient Stories
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One year ago, Kim McGrath beat breast cancer; now she is fighting leukemiaHello Friends:

I want to begin by saying ‘Thank You!’ for all the cards and well wishes, heartwarming e-mails and phone calls. Your genuine love and concern continue to lift and carry us through this difficult time.  Sincerest thanks to all who have participated in the recent bone marrow drives whether by swabbing to be a donor, volunteering or just being there to support Be The Match. Your response has been overwhelming and unbelievably humbling. Without all of you my story could not be told…

Our journey began 2 years ago with the life-changing diagnosis of breast cancer. While the news was devastating, we decided to keep it private and face the battle head-on, our family by our side.  After months of treatments and several surgeries, we rose to victory and I began to feel normal once again. 15 months after my last chemo treatment, I was finally getting back on my feet, my hair was starting to look cute again, I was really looking forward to forever.

Then, the crushing news—leukemia. The word pierced deep. I could hardly breathe.  Still exhausted from all I had been through, I was done being brave, done being strong.  I just wanted to BE.  I wanted to be a good mom.  I wanted to be a good wife and friend.  I just wanted to be like everyone else.  And now once again I’m not.  Being bald twice isn’t fair—not for me, not for anyone.

Hearts shattered but always a fighter, I went into survival mode once again. I believe everyone should fight for what they want, what they want to keep, and what they believe in.  So here I am in the hospital again, fighting for everything that’s waiting at home for me.  Much like being in prison for a crime I didn’t commit, the isolation here is tedious and lonely. The chemo is grueling and feels like the worst hangover ever, without all the fun.  Through it all, thoughts of the simplest things have become my treasures: a breath of fresh air, a walk in the sunshine, going home to precious time with Jeremy and our girls, holding hands on the beach.  Simple joys… rewards that warm me and keep me focused.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that this time our battle was BIGGER than us.  We knew we could not do it alone.  I know many of you admire Jeremy because he’s a champion, has done great things for the sport he loves, is a hero and role model.  But, beyond all that, I want you to know what an incredible father and husband he is.  No husband should have to see his wife the way he’s seen me. Yet, through it all he has been right by my side.  We share an amazing love story. He is even more remarkable on the inside than you have ever seen on the outside.

So, we come to the part where Jeremy McGrath had to reach out and reveal his heart to all who would listen–his friends, fans, fellow riders, sponsors past and present. His passionate plea is for donors, bone marrow awareness, all the love and support we can find.  You listened, you cared, you did not disappoint. Your response has been unbelievable and lifesaving.

Sometimes I think, “Why me, God?  Why me again?” Then I hear about the record-breaking days we have set getting donors, raising funds and critical awareness for our cause, and I clearly get it—God’s answer to me.  Somewhere there is another mom in a hospital bed missing her babies just like me.  There are dads, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, more importantly, kids out there waiting for a match just like me.  If Jeremy and I can help one person, 10 people, or maybe even 100 people, THAT’S why I’m here, THAT’S why I’m doing my time.

I think about all the amazing blessings I have in my life, each one worth fighting for!  Everyone has their thing, right?  Well, I guess this is mine.  I’m gonna fight because that’s the only thing I know how to do.

Thanks all so much for being there when we need you most.

Love, Kim McGrath

 

You can also help Kim and Jeremy with their support of Be The Match by visiting her Be The Match team page.

23 Responses to “Patient and Wife of Supercross Champion Writes Letter of Thanks”

  1. Terri says:

    Dear Kim,
    I am a 4 year survivor of Leukemia, and I know how isolated you are feeling. I would not have made it through my 1st 45 days in the hospital without my music (a small boombox at the time.), so I recommend that for your sanity. I only had 7.5 months of chemo to put me in to remission, and will hope to make it to the 5 year point in 2013.
    If I could donate in your name I would, but those days are behind me.
    Take good care of yourself and mind the doctors/nurses.
    Your positive attidtude will take you far!

  2. sandie says:

    My son was diagnosed with leukemia at 5 and then relapsed at 12. He is now 30 and doing well. He also felt betrayed by the fact that he survived cancer only to have to fight again. Losing his hair multiple times, there were moments he felt alone, isolated, and depressed. With God’s blessings we made it. My husband and I are both on the donor list. I pray that people will continue to join…as we both know it can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye. God bless you Kim and I pray that you will will receive a donor and years of good health.

  3. Heather says:

    I am a blood donor and a be a match participant. My cousin struggled with uterine cancer and lost the fight, she was a single mom with a 10 year old daughter. I found out then just how important it is to share what we can with eachother.
    Donating is something I can do to give back to my community and “Be a Match”, is a way to help families fight for their loved ones. While I lost mine, I don’t want anyone that I could have helped go without because I couldn’t put forth the effort.
    My thoughts are with you and countless others fighting the fight.

  4. mary says:

    Dear Kim,
    My hubby is a cancer patient for almost 10 years..too much treatment to mention, but he is also a fighter. Our entire family is & sometimes it’s like being in a boxing ring–you get punched out but you get back up & you just keep getting back up. My hubby had a stem cell transplant 3+ years ago & is doing good….lots of side effects & life has changed, but he is here & living.
    I wish you successful treatment & to be free of illness once again.

  5. Julia says:

    Dear Kim,
    Thank you for sharing part of your journey with us in your very transparent message of thanks. What a blessing for you to have your husband, family and friends with you through it all. Your feelings and thoughts of “why me” are very real indeed, yet you see the blessing of your experience in helping others. May the Lord heal you from the inside out and continue to hold you close through it all.

    I have almost had an opportunity to be a donor for a recipient through the testing procedure; but am looking forward to another chance to help someone else. Would love for it to be you!

  6. David Harkness says:

    Dear Kim,

    I am one of those who has admired your husbands accomplishments for many years. I have to say however your testimony of grace under the most difficult circumstances has deeply inspired me. Your courage and ability to see the good in these circumstances shows an awareness of the truths that most of us cannot grasp. You and your husband work is reaping eternal benefits

    Thank you. You are remarkable.

    Sincerely,

    David Harkness
    Donor Record #:135547

  7. Bob Flory says:

    I have been on the donor list the last five years. I know the battles you have faced, and more about the battles to come. Your faith, family, and friends will be greatly needed. Please keep fit and never give up!!

  8. Charles Read says:

    Dear Kim,

    I dont know if I’m a match for you or not, but I am registered with “Be the Match” and if I’m a match for you, you can have all of my marrow that you need in order to get healthy again. Let’s do this!!!

    Yours in Christ,

    Charles Read

  9. Kristin R says:

    Kim,
    I was a donor prior to hearing your story but my husband didn’t quite understand until he went to one of the events being held at a track for work and hearing your story he signed up. I couldn’t believe it. I hope they find you a match so you can be home with your family. You are a strong brave women.
    God bless you

  10. Jaimie says:

    Hey Kim,

    I’ve already donated bone marrow to my brother and stem cells (2x). I am registed on be the match I’d be more than willing to be your donor!

    Jaimie

  11. Tadeh Gevorgian says:

    Dear Kim,
    There is always hope! My wife was diagnosed with lymphoma over a year and a half ago. She like you is incredibly strong, and more importantly optomistic! Relapsing after many different types of chemo, we continued to search for a match. We couldn’t find a match in adult stem cells, but there was a miracle in umbilical cords! She went to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and I am happy to say she is over 190 days post transplant! Your husband fearlessly flithrough the air on his bike, but as a husband I know he stands in awe of your courage! Continue to keep a positive attitude, and remember that you are not alone! Keep fighting because you will win!

  12. Tadeh Gevorgian says:

    Sorry for the typo-
    “husband flies through”

  13. DL says:

    Hello Kim,
    I was so touched by your “story”, Thank you for sharing. By reading your letter you sound like such a strong and inspirational lady. You are a wonderful person to help others while you are battling this “evil cancer” yourself! Your family is lucky to have you! I hope you and your family keep up the positive attitude and keep fighting.
    Blessings to you
    DL

  14. Julie Power says:

    Dear Kim

    I have been a registered potential donor for about 20 years now, and I browse the Registry newsletter whenever it comes out.

    Such a beautifully written letter – it touched my heart in so many ways, particularly when you told us about God’s answer to your question “Why me?”

    Thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes to you and your family.

  15. Diane says:

    Hi Kim,
    Wow. I didn’t know this was your second struggle. It is amazing how when life seems so unfair, you are staying positive and finding “meaning” in your struggles. That’s very uplifting and motivating. I have a strong family history of breast cancer, including my mother and both grandmothers (they all survived). I joined the Marrow Registry over 20 years ago when my uncle battled leukemia, (he lost his fight) but have yet to be a match. Your story has inspired my husband to also register. It’s such a simple thing to do to help someone, I just don’t think enough people realize that, and your helping to spread that knowledge in the midst of your own battle is quite inspiring. I wish you and your family all the best, and if I’m ever called to donate I will think of you and your strength… Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Heather says:

    Hello Kim,

    I’ve been registered to be a bone marrow donor for a while I would love to be your donor if possible. It would be a honor to help a fellow woman to get back to being YOU!!!

  17. Karen says:

    Dear Kim:

    Your beautiful letter & story has touched me deeply. My son was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008 and your husband was so, so, so kind to donate a signed jersey for a fundraiser that his buddies put together for him. An act of kindness that has forever held a special place in our hearts. He received his stem cell transplant at UCSD & is healthy and in remission living each day filled with love & appreciation for his donor (his sister) and every person who helped support him along his difficult journey.

    Thank-you!!

    Faith, Hope & Courage….Strength to Prevail. Karen

    • Lynn A. says:

      Dear Kim, your story is truly inspiring and I’m so glad you decided to share. I have been on the registry donor list for Be The Match since 2009 and I’m hopeful that one day they will contact me so that I can help someone. It is so easy to get tested! We will be praying for your recovery and hope that you feel the positive energy from all across the country!! God Bless You and Your Family! Lynn A.

  18. Darla says:

    Dear Kim, In 2009 my 3 year old grandson had a bone marrow transplant. His donor came from Be the Match. We still have not been able to meet his donor, she is from Germany. Today he is a normal six year old little boy living a normal life thanks to Be the Match and the great doctor’s at Texas Children’s Hospital. Keep your faith strong and God will see you through.

    God bless your family.

  19. Mike Burch says:

    Kim, I have been on the donor list for 3 years now. I pray everyday that I get called. A call will be a spectacular day for me on a personal level. Keep up your very brave fight and remember that I’m in your corner and will be as long as I possibly can. MB Apache Junction, Arizona.

  20. Mike's Wife says:

    Dear Kim and Jeremy,
    You both are in my prayers. It is so heart warming to hear the love and support you are receiving. Marriage is for better for worse, for sickness and in health;you both are are a wonderful example of real love. You are to be commended on your devotion Jeremy to Kim especially now during this time. So many people don’t stand beside their loved one in times of illness.
    We just found out that our cousin will also need a marrow transplant and I was on the “bethematch.com” website to find out how to become a donor and be tested. That’s how I found your story. Justin is almost 30 and has a wife that has been very supportive also… Praise God for her too! So in saying all this, more people will be getting tested to be matched Kim, YOUR. MATCH is being found very soon. I am praying that is Gods will for you and Justin.

  21. Randi Greene says:

    Kim,

    I signed up as a bone marrow donor about 16 years ago and have been a “Be the Match” for quite awhile. Having lost friends and family to leukemia I am an avid recruiter for donors. Your courage and faith are amazing and will get you through this once again. I have always been a fan of your husband since the first time my husband and I took our son to see him race, but I am now an even bigger fan knowing that he has stood by you and the love that you guys share.

    God bless you and your family and thank you so much for sharing you story to help others!

  22. Heather Scott says:

    Kim,

    Hello my name is Heather Im 24 years old and my journey started with be a match about 6 years ago when I heard over our local country radio station that they were have a drive for a local girl who had cancer and needed a marrow donor so I decided that I wanted to help the best I could if I was a match or not because I knew even if I wasnt a match for her I could be one day for someones child or mother or father or even a husband or a wife I lost my baby brother when I was five due to heart proublems and needing a heart transplant but he didnt win his fight he died within a few days of being admited to the hospital and then medical put him at the bottom of the tranplant list he died 2 weeks before his 1st birthday and I lost my grandma to cancer in 2001 I know I dont know what your going through as each person is different but I know how the words cancer feel my cousin found out a little over 2 years ago that she had cervical cancer and she has been in remission now for 6 months and I think what your doing is amazing inspite what your going through your helping other as well and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Heather Scott

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