Earlier today we received this personal message from Kim McGrath as she continues her battle with leukemia.
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.