The person who inspired the formation of a community group that raises money for people struggling financially when faced with expensive medical treatment has died.
Kim Kaye, 47, passed away Nov. 24. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2013. The cancer then spread to her brain.
“When first diagnosed, we were told she had about 18 months to live and she lived for 4.5 years after diagnosis. She died at 47 years old and her 48th birthday would have been Dec 13,” said longtime friend Donna Slavik, who began Kimmunity Angels Society after seeing Kaye’s financial difficulties while ill and learning that she wasn’t the only person struggling.
Slavik started the society in 2014. Its mission statement is “to promote health by providing financial assistance to seriously ill individuals for medical treatment, medical travel, equipment and supplies.
“When Kim was first diagnosed, the first words out of her mouth had nothing to do with concern for herself… the first words were ‘my children.’ She worried for her children every moment,” said Slavik, adding that Kaye has three teenagers.
Kaye was born and raised in Terrace and has one brother, Troy Kaye.
She and Slavik met when both worked at Mantiques clothing store.
“We hit it off right away and never stopped laughing. We became roommates about six months after we met and we lived together about five years and had a blast,” said Slavik, adding Kaye loved her children and they loved her instantly because she was so much fun.
Kaye was such a compassionate person that she was extremely emotional and honoured knowing that, because of her, many people would receive help from Kimmunity Angels, said Slavik.
“When I showed her the name I was thinking about for the society, she cried. She said she loved that we were both part of the name, as in her name is in Kimmunity, and she said I was her angel and the best friend anyone could be blessed with. We both sobbed at that point,” said Slavik.
“What I’d like people to know about Kim is her true compassion for others – she was always looking out for the underdog. She had the best sense of humour and was a lot of fun. A true friend and I feel so blessed to have had her in my life for 30 years.”
A Celebration of Life for Kim Kaye is being planned for May 2018. More details will be announced at a later date.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” -Cayla Mills
Disease and illness touches lives in different ways. In 2013 my life was directly affected when my life long friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As many already know, when a loved one is touched by cancer or any illness, you find yourself spinning and I was no different.
Feeling helpless, I wanted to do something so I organized a fundraiser to help my friend with medical expenses. Through the fundraising process many people openly shared their stories, which was very eye opening.
Prior to my friend's illness, I had no understanding of the economic impact and emotional stress a serious illness plays in the lives of a patient, their family and friends. Needless to say; this experience has altered my perspective on life.
Kimmunity Angels Society was founded in response to the need for support for seriously ill individuals within our community. Plus, my desire to give back to the community that generously opened its arms, in our time of need.
Founder and President
During a soccer game, I was hit in the breast with a soccer ball and thought nothing of it, until the following day. My breast was still abnormally tender and I found a lump under my nipple, so I immediately went to my Doctor. From there I was sent directly for a mammogram, breast ultrasound and biopsy. On February 14, 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through several more tests.
The process used to find out whether the cancer has spread within the breast or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. Understanding the stage is required in order to plan treatment. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 – Level 3 Breast Cancer.
With facts in hand and after careful consideration, I decided to undergo a double mastectomy which took place March 17, 2014, St. Patrick’s Day. I like to joke and say, “I lost my paddies on St. Paddy’s Day.” On April 01, 2014 I started my first of 21 rounds of chemotherapy treatments and I am currently in my 18th round. Radiation was also required which I started September 28, 2014 for a period of 6 weeks, ending on the 6th of November.
This journey has been difficult emotionally and physically, but family, ESPECIALLY MY MOM, friends and my community provides amazing support. Needless to say, without the strength, support, comfort and encouragement of family, friends and community, this journey would be much different.