Kimberly Thach was just 4 years-old, she learned a lesson that would
forever change her life. Now she wants to share it with anyone who will
listen, in hopes that her message of hope will change the lives of others.
In January 1992, the Thach family received the devastating news that Kimberly had Leukemia, a form of cancer that lived in her blood. While it seemed like a nightmare, there wasn't any time to dwell on the shock and disbelief the family initially felt. Kimberly's life was being threatened and a series of immediate treatments was crucial if she was to have any chance of survival. So at the same time most of her friends were just entering kindergarten, Kimberly was entering the hospital for a completely different kind of an educational experience. While most kids her age were learning to read from children's books, Kimberly and her family were reading medical journals and magazines left in hospital waiting rooms and chapels.
passed by, and Kimberly's
immune system was becoming dangerously low due to the treatments. It
was critical that she stays away from any illness. Just when it seemed
like the situation couldn't get any worse, Kimberly became infected
with Chicken Pox. Kimberly's liver and the rest of her body were struggling
to survive the attack. Fearing the worst, the doctors encouraged Kimberly's
parents to gather her immediate family to the hospital. After weeks
of hearing other family's cries of grief and hope for the lives of children
in similar situations, it was now time for the Thach family to pray
Throughout the entire battle, there was one thing that always seemed to provide a glimpse of hope to everyone that came in contact with Kimberly, and that was Kimberly's amazing determination. While Doctor's spoke of what could happen to Kimberly, she spoke about what she was determined would happen. This tiny 4 year-old girl announced with a small yet distinct voice of authority that she would "Never give up"! While everyone else was focusing on getting through to the next day, Kimberly had her mind fixed on getting better and going home so she could play with her friends again and go to school like a normal kid. Fortunately for everyone involved, Kimberly's positivity and determination was just as infectious as the Chicken Pox that assisted the Leukemia in almost taking her life. After a few months of living in a hospital and battling for her life, Kimberly's hope claimed victory over her disease, and she was well enough to return home.
years later, Kimberly's
Leukemia is currently in remission. Still twice a year, the Thach family
to the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute for a test to ensure that
the Leukemia hasn't returned. Each time, the family holds their breath
until they hear the test results. Each time, Kimberly
remembers the battle she fought and what an important role her attitude
and determination played in her survival. While she won't be considered
cured for two more years, the fact that she's been in remission for
several years now provides Kimberly
and her doctors with the hope that the Leukemia won't return. Still
is ready to fight that battle again if necessary, and she's confident
that her belief in herself will enable her to prevail.
Like many children who face life-threatening illness, Kimberly heard about the Make-A-Wish Foundation through a friend and decided to call. Once her doctor acknowledged that her condition qualified Kimberly to receive a wish, Kimberly's mind went to work. Like most wish kids, Kimberly's mind began to spin with possibilities. At one point, Kimberly thought that maybe she could meet one of her heroes, Celine Dion, or perhaps go on a vacation with her family. But then Kimberly made a decision that she's hoping will change the rest of her life, and hopefully inspire the lives of many other people in similar situations. Kimberly wished to become a famous singer and to record a CD.
Over the course of the last couple of years, Kimberly discovered a deep love for singing. She sings at local talent shows, karaoke clubs, school events, and even benefits for charities such as the Leukemia Society and Make-A-Wish. Every chance she gets, she uses these performances to tell her personal story of how "never giving up on your dreams" is extremely important no matter how big or small your dream may be. She's a living example of how persistence, determination, and hope can be strong enough to overcome almost any obstacle, even life-threatening illness!
Kimberly's volunteer wish grantors have taken her wish very seriously, and have prepared Kimberly for a wish experience that she'll never forget. During the month of April, Kimberly is taking voice lessons, choreography lessons, and preparing to enter a professional recording studio where she will record a number of songs from local writers and producers that have developed the songs especially for Kimberly's wish. This summer, she will see the release of her very own CD entitled "A Voice of Hope". Kimberly has already had her own personal photo shoot for the CD cover. In addition, she will be representing Make-A-Wish at several upcoming events where she'll be singing songs from the CD.
The best part about Kimberly's wish is that it's a wish that you can personally participate in! Kimberly would like to extend a special invitation to each and every person who reads this story to come out and be part of her wish by listening to her sing throughout the remainder of 1999. Keep your eye on Kimberly's schedule of appearances for updates. We want Kimberly to feel like a celebrity, and need your help! So please take a look at Kimberly's schedule, and bring lots of friends to hear her sing! We'll be wrapping up Kimberly's wish with her CD release party sometime this summer. Keep your eyes on her website for the forthcoming date, time and location!