At age 48, Kimberly was a successful telecommunications manager living her dream life on the central coast of California. But on September 12, 2008, her world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with an especially aggressive form of Stage IIB breast cancer.
Almost immediately Kimberly had a lumpectomy and radiation and was preparing to get back to her life when she learned the devastating, and surprising, news that she would require six rounds of chemotherapy. Within weeks of starting chemo Kimberly was coping with side effects not always discussed with cancer patients by their doctors or nurses. Not only had she lost her hair but her scalp was inflamed with sore, itchy bumps, and her skin, lips and nails were severely dry, cracked, irritated and very sensitive.
An eternal optimist with a knack for research, she began studying cosmetic formulation guides and consulting with cosmetic formulators and was soon blending her own soothing lotions and balms in her small kitchen in Shell Beach…using herself, fiancé, and friends as her test subjects.
As Kimberly quickly learned a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event in so many ways. After being off work almost a full year while battling cancer she returned to her career of nearly 13 years designing voice and data networks for a national telecommunications company and quickly learned she was being laid off. Once again her optimism was front and center as her first thought was: “What a blessing!” She is quick to tell people that if it had not been for her cancer diagnosis and being laid off she would have never found her life’s purpose and passion.
Today, Botanicals for Hope™ provides simple, yet skin nourishing body care products that are exceptionally gentle and effective. Kimberly’s clients range from those who have always had dry or sensitive skin, to those whose skin issues began as the result of medications, sensitivity to fragrances, or sun damage, and her products are gaining a reputation with oncologists and cancer patients as the “go to” line to soothe, balance and relieve the dry, itchy and irritated skin caused by cancer treatments. As her company gains success, Kimberly is realizing another dream of hers – helping other cancer patients. A portion of all sales are donated to cancer support and wellness programs throughout the community.
As Kimberly says, “Regardless of the nature of your setbacks, make every day count, remain positive, try to find the humor in it, and I guarantee you will emerge a stronger, happier and healthier person.”