Hello, my name is Kim and I’m a runner. On Sunday October 17, 2021 I ran the Scotiabank half marathon. My goal was to bring awareness to my community of family and friends about HS, and to collect any donation amount to help HS Heroes in providing further education and awareness as well.
This is my story
I ran my first Marathon in 2019 when I did my first in person 5km with Toronto Scotiabank and raised money for Sick Kids hospital in memory of the passing of my nephew Matthew. Ever since that event I haven’t stopped running. Now I pretty much do 5km runs 3-4 per week; weekends or during my lunch break as it’s “me time” and part of my self-care. This is my second half marathon; I did my first one last year (2020.)
Ashley is my husband’s 1st cousin, so I would consider her my cousin as well, and have known her for 18 years. HS has impacted her life tremendously since 2012 when she had her first flare up. I remember her heading to the Emergency room due to the pain and suffering. The doctors at the hospital of course assumed it was a cyst or boil so they had made an incision and had it drain on its own. At times it got better then worse. Ashley was assessed by numerous physicians and specialists until 2018. That is when she got her proper diagnosis of HS from Dr. Alavi, a dermatologist in the Toronto area.
In 2020, she had started her visits to the hospital to administer antibiotics through intravenous (IV) injection. Afterwards, she was setup to have IV home treatments to ease the flare ups and pain as it was getting worse. She had 9 spots up at one point, all at the same time. She had 8 around her abdominal area and also had a really bad one on her head just above her left ear where she suffered hair loss in the area. She needed a home care Nurse to visit her daily for 2 hours to set up her IV and administer her medications.
Ashley has a heart of gold. No matter how much she is suffering and in pain, she always has a smile on her face and tries to spread her positive energy around. She knows that if she is not bringing up her vibes that everyone will be down and worry too much about her health. Ashley loves to dance and has been known to have the moves to each and every song. I Love that she does not let HS get in her way. She has created a small business on Instagram @divine.baking.with.Ashley – She loves to bake, so why not create goodness to make people happy as it brings her happiness to see people satisfied. She creates all different kinds of cakes, baked goods or traditional Portuguese baked items.
Numerous things go through my mind when I run; I can think about what had happened throughout the day, week or even things I need to do. Sometimes I even come up with great spontaneous ideas as I run. Just listening to a certain song reminds me of something and then my mind wanders off. I normally listen to my music playlist, which includes anything new and sometimes I like the way backs (old school) songs as well. I also love listening to podcasts. Anything from Motivation: inspirational; health related and anything educational.
I wanted to help raise awareness of HS Disease because there is not enough education of this condition, and getting a mixed and incorrect diagnosis is so common with this condition. Also, along with Ashley I recently found out another family member has HS. My brother suffered with HS for 30 years until he met a doctor in a Georgetown, Ontario Hospital 2 years ago that properly diagnosed him.
With this run I raised $360 dollars and even achieved my personal best time! I ran 21.2km in 2hours and 4mins and was greeted by my loving children with their sweet hugs and kisses and their homemade signage. Of course my Ashley was there as well to offer her full support with a bouquet of flowers. It’s been an excellent experience for myself as I got to teach my kids the fundamentals of this event, the importance of spreading awareness, educating others and using my skill in running to help aid the cause.