We were lucky enough to come across a lovely soul on Instagram. Kim has a chronic condition and was kind enough to share her story through an audio recording that we have summarised below
What’s your name and can you tell us a little about what happened to you ?
My name is Kimberly. I'm 24 years old, and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I was diagnosed with autoimmune diseases at the age of 12 including scleroderma and Raynaud's.. At the age of 21 I had two strokes and later I was diagnosed with APS.
What is Scleroderma and APS?
Scleroderma is a skin tightening, autoimmune disease, and APS is an antiphospholipid syndrome, which essentially means your body produces blood clots in your brain.
What are you passionate about?
I'm very passionate about spreading awareness for autoimmune diseases. Being a young woman with an autoimmune disease is hard and I feel autoimmune diseases are not talked about enough.
When I was growing up, and I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I had no one to look up to. It was not talked about in the media, which is a big part of why I hid my autoimmune disease from the rest of the world. I want to be for other people what wasn't there for myself.
I want to be able to show people that there are other people going through the same thing as them. I want to share what has worked for me, what stuff I recommend including little life tips here and there that I've learned along the way.
What else lights you up?
I'm a dog, Mom. I got a dog 3 months before my stroke and I'm very, very attached to him. The stroke resulted in me losing a lot of confidence and I was in a dark place. The puppy gave me a reason to get out of bed and to play with him.
What has helped you during the journey?
Pushing myself to try things I was uncomfortable with was very important. I first tried Instagram and tik tok. Initially, I was very shy and I didn’t show my face, but then a company reached out to me and asked if I would like to share my story. I did and released my picture. A number of people then reached out to me to thank me and said I was an inspiration.
With increased confidence, I started on tik tok and my use of social media has continued to grow.
What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal would be to give a TED talk and to be travelling the world, sharing my story at conferences.
What is the most mind blowing thing that someone has done for you?
When I was 18, I had to get a hand surgery to prevent future finger loss. I had this wonderful doctor who one day gave me Taylor Swift tickets. I felt like Cinderella that night, because the only rule was that I had to be back to the hospital by 12. As lovely as the tickets were what he said has always stayed with me. He said “honestly, you're such a blessing and you're gonna make a big impact in this world” That story will always be one of my favourite memories.
Where can I learn more about Kim
TikTok : www.tiktok.com/@strong_selflove
IG inspiration for scleroderma
These are pages that shared my stories