We love sharing stories from our community, whether it’s an athlete, a local celebrity or a ShokzStar. This month we connected with AfterShokz athlete Kim White, who shares her journey defying odds and battling cancer.
AfterShokz: Give us a quick introduction!
Kim: I grew up in Cache Valley, UT as the fourth of six children. I played soccer for the University of Iowa, where I met my husband, and earned my bachelor's degree in health coaching. Six months after returning to Utah, I was diagnosed with Adrenocortical carcinoma. Despite repeatedly being given two to three months to live I have defied all odds. I love to adventure in the outdoors, to experience new things, and to create as many memories as possible with whatever time I have here on Earth.
AfterShokz: Can you tell us a little more about your cancer diagnosis and what you went through during treatment?
Kim: Adrenocortical carcinoma is one in a million. Only 20 percent of patients live five years. I was predicted to die the year I was diagnosed. Over the past five years I have undergone five major surgeries and more than 40 smaller surgeries and procedures. I’ve also gone through chemotherapy, targeted radiation, Y90 radiation, chemo embolizations, and immunotherapy. I really have done it all. This is the first year in which treatment has finally slowed down and I’m not in the hospital at least once a week.
AfterShokz: In what ways has your life changed since your cancer diagnosis?
Kim: Everything has changed. My mind, body, and spirit have all evolved for the better. I have been moulded mentally to know how to push through the darkest of times. I have learned the power that the mind holds—its ability to manifest the future. Our mind has the power to make any situation better or worse. We get to choose what we do with that power.
My body is stronger—(dare I say healthier?) than it has ever been. I may still have a tumour in my left lung and organized pneumonia, but I have never taken care of my body like I do now. I have such an appreciation for my incredible body, for what it has withstood and overcome. It has shown up for me time and time again, which is why I choose to show up for it every day.
My spirit has grown the most. I have felt my angels with me more in these last five years than in my entire life. Part of that, I believe, is because I am more aware of them. Through meditation, I have had some of the most sacred and spiritual experiences of my life. I know that is because when we go through the darkest of times, we find the most light. We have to experience the dark in order to truly know the light.
AfterShokz: What advice would you give to anyone fighting cancer?
Kim: Be your own advocate. Just because your doctor says one thing doesn’t mean he or she has all of the information. Be willing to ask questions, and if you don’t like the answer ask again, or ask someone else. Don’t get me wrong: I love doctors. I have so much love and respect for them and everything they have done for me. But they are not God and they don’t always know everything.
And be willing to look outside the box. I have found so much healing in both Western and Eastern medicine. I wish our system used them together instead of one being “better” than the other. I am a firm believer in both, and I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am without including both in my treatment plan.
AfterShokz: What motivates you?
Kim: Life. Being alive motivates me to keep doing everything in my power to keep it that way. Creating memories with my family and friends is what this life is about. I will keep fighting so I can keep creating memories.
AfterShokz: If you could go anywhere and do anything, where would you go and what would you do?
Kim: Greece is high on my bucket list of places I would love to travel. It seems like such a magical, whimsical place that I would really enjoy.
If I could do anything, I would love to go Heli boarding: Have a helicopter take me to the top of a giant mountain with insane amounts of powder and drop me off. Let me ride that fresh, untouched powder all day long!
AfterShokz: What is your all-time favourite pump-up jam? What kind of music do you listen to?
Kim: It depends on what I’m getting pumped up for. When I feel like I need to pump myself up mentally, my go-tos is “Rise Up” by Andra Day, “Praying” by Kesha, or “In My Blood,” by Shawn Mendes. I love all types of music though. Completely depends on my mood. But a really heartfelt, feel-good type song is my jam, for sure.
AfterShokz: What’s next for you, Kim?
Kim: I am constantly working to improve my mental, spiritual, and physical strength. I want to continue to help others do the same. To stand as a witness that when life throws curveball after curveball, that you can make it through. That you are stronger than you give yourself credit for and that you can do anything. I plan to keep living life, making memories, exploring the world all while helping others find their own strength. Come into their own power. All while finding true joy and meaning in this life. Life is beautiful and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me next.