Kimberly was a young, single mother of two children and had the weight of the world on her shoulders. With no help from her family, she was completely on her own. So, in her late 20s when she began experiencing unusual symptoms including fatigue, memory loss, frequent falls, numbness in her arm, and blurry vision, Kimberly simply attributed it to stress and lack of sleep. As the symptoms persisted and began to occur more frequently, she knew something was terribly wrong. After visiting a neurologist to identify the cause of her symptoms, Kimberly received devastating news. Her imbalance, arm tingling, and vision troubles finally had a diagnosis – multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive disorder that affects the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and cranial nerves. Kimberly’s disease advanced during the first few years after her diagnosis. She resented the fact that she was unable to do the things that other healthy mothers did. She thought she would never be the quintessential “soccer mom” that she dreamed of being because she could not get around as easily as others. Nevertheless, she learned to cope with her disease.
At age 39 she was faced with yet another challenge. As MS continued to take its toll on her body, she received the startling news that she had Stage 3 colorectal cancer. After undergoing surgery to remove the tumor and cancer cells, she was referred to Maxim Healthcare Services by a caseworker from the hospital. Shortly after she met with her Maxim team in 2005, she immediately began receiving 40 hours of assistance per week to help her with basic care and needs. Her road to recovery came to a screeching halt when her MS flared. Without skipping a beat, the Maxim local office staff and Kimberly’s caregiving team stepped in to provide her with high-quality, customized care to address all of her needs.
From doctor’s visits to bathing, grooming, and trips to the grocery store, the care that Kimberly receives from her Maxim caregivers gives her the type of lifestyle that she thought would never be possible. As Kimberly’s health continues to be challenging, she credits her nurses and aides for keeping a smile on her face. “Without them, I do not think I could go on,” says Kimberly. “They treat me like family. I would be lost and would not be able to live safely in my apartment without them.”