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West Hartford Community Rallying to Support Kim Green

Kim Green joins friends in a meditation at the labrynth at the Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford on Aug. 2. At right is her husband, Ken Green. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Friends of West Hartford resident Kim Green have started a gofundme campaign to assist her family.

West Hartford resident Kim Green celebrated her August birthday in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Kim Green

West Hartford resident Kim Green celebrated her August birthday in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Kim Green

By Ronni Newton

Kim Green is one of those people you don’t meet every day – someone who maintains a positive outlook and giving spirit no matter what life throws at her.

Life has thrown a lot of curveballs her way.

Throughout Green’s journey – 17 years living with breast cancer, now stage 4 metastatic – her friends and family have provided loving support and prayer. They have made a celebration out of shaving her head before chemotherapy. They raised money to send her and another friend on a pilgrimage to Lourdes several years ago. Friends have brought meals and helped care for her children and pets. They’ve joined her in meditation.

Green has always given back, too. She’s a lay minister at Saint Peter Claver Church, and has always volunteered in the schools and with charitable organizations. She welcomes everyone into the warm and friendly home she shares with her husband, Ken, children Tessa and Torrie, two daschunds, and several cats. She’s the woman who always goes above and beyond, from the big things to the little things like baking bread for her friends during the holidays.

Kim Green joins friends in a meditation at the labrynth at the Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford on Aug. 2. At right is her husband, Ken Green. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Kim Green joins friends in a meditation at the labrynth at the Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford on Aug. 2. Friends were praying for her successful surgery that week. At right is her husband, Ken Green. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Green’s most recent medical challenges stemmed from a complication resulting from surgery to repair recurrent hernias. Her years of cancer treatment and extensive allergies and sensitivities make any surgery more complicated, and this was a challenging surgery.

Then she contracted MRSA. She’s been back at the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale for the past 24 days, as she and doctors try to battle the stubborn infection so they can proceed with other medical treatments.

“Presently, I have a NG tube in place and am receiving 24 hour nutrition through my veins via TPN. I have not had food or water in over two weeks as we let my abdomen slowly heal,” Green posted in her blog, Seventeen Years of Pink, on Wednesday.

Her family and friends have been following her most recent battle on Facebook, most unable to visit because of Green’s compromised immune system. When she posts a status update, she gets 50-100 comments, most offering hearfelt prayers for her recovery.

Friends have arranged for meals and gift cards for take-out.

“The community has been so supportive, but we wanted to kick it up a notch,” said Juliana McCormick, who has been friends with Green since their then-toddler children – now high school seniors – started play together about 15 years ago.

“We wanted to support Kim. We’ve done it with meals and prayer, but we know financially her condition has created a challenge,” McCormick said.

“I had no idea how to do this,” said McCormick, so she enlisted the help of another mutual friend, experienced fundraiser Tricia Haggerty Wenz, and Wenz set up a gofundme campaign.

“When Juliana asked me, I had been wondering what we could do. I jumped on it because it was something tangible I could do,” Wenz said.

The gofundme campaign went live on Tuesday evening, Sept. 22. Less than 48 hours later it has already raised $3,805 from 45 donors. The goal is $50,000.

“I am surrounded by angels,” Green said of her friends’ efforts.

Kim Green said that this is a shot of her husband Ken's "office" in her hospital room. "He works and then mans the bells and whistles of my pumps." Photo courtesy of Kim Green

Kim Green said that this is a shot of her husband Ken’s “office” in her hospital room. “He works and then mans the bells and whistles of my pumps.” Photo courtesy of Kim Green

“The goal we chose was certainly a significant goal, but it’s only a fraction of their expenses,” said Wenz. The medical costs are astounding, and there’s no end in sight, she said.

Green’s husband has been trying to keep up with work, but he’s in sales and isn’t able to travel right now. What he can do, he does from her side in the hospital room. “So much of the strength I have comes from Ken and the enormous quiet, humble strength he is made of,” Green said.

The gofundme campaign is being shared on Facebook. Wenz said that Green has more than 400 Facebook friends. “If everyone would donate $120 we would make this goal. It’s totally doable. I hope everyone can give what they can, even if it’s a small amount,” she said.

McCormick said she and her family have always had a special bond with Green, who watched her son Matthew after school when he was younger. McCormick’s mom is a two-time breast cancer survivor, who also has a bond with Green, she said.

McCormick said that the gofundme campaign is a vehicle “to support the family in a more practical way.”

The introduction to the gofundme campaign includes the following message: “Those of us who know and love Kim, know what an amazing and beautiful spirit she is. Like the true warrior she is,  she has been fighting cancer for over 17 years. These past two months have been incredibly difficult for her and her family, and yet she has never lost her hope. All of us have given her our prayers, love and friendship. Now she needs something more from us. She needs our support to help her family get through this finanically difficult time. Although we cannot ease the burden of her medical complications, perhaps we can help  in easing some of their financial burden. Please give what you can – any amount will help them!”

Green’s response on Facebook was heartfelt: “As you all know, I have been sick for a long time. Ken has singlehandedly cared for me and the kids by working harder than any person I have ever known. For the past 23 days, Ken has only left my side to go home at night to be with Torrie and hold down the house. He has made the hour long commute each day here and back, worked and has taken care of me. He only leaves my side to grab a bite while I sleep. The stress is enormous on him which in turn is enormous on me. I was hoping before MRSA to be back leading meditation and hopefully even working part time. That isn’t going to happen for a long time. I am so humbled, grateful, awed and speechless at the generosity of my friends for creating this campaign. It allows me to breathe a little easier knowing I can concentrate on healing and that Ken can relax ( a little!) too. God Bless You. Namaste. Kim.”

Anyone interested in donating in honor of Kim Green can click here for her gofundme.com site.

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