28-Year-Old Oncology Nurse Battles Inflammatory Breast Cancer

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Panama City-- Since landing the job of her dreams, 28-year-old, Kimberly Weekley, says every single day...is a constant reminder of her destiny.

“She does a fantastic job; her name is Kim Weekley, but we call her Kim Strongly,” said Dr. Syed K. Mahmood, MD.

She earned the nickname "Kimberly Strongly" just a few months after settling in as Dr. Mahmood’s newest oncology nurse where she quickly came face to face with her our own mortality.

“They took me back to the doctor and he had my mammogram up and I looked at it,” said Weekley. “I knew…you know? I'm a nurse and looked at it...and my heart just sort of sank.”

“This was a very aggressive type of cancer called ‘Inflammatory Breast Cancer,’ which is the most aggressive type of cancer and if you don't treat it, most people don't live for more than a year,” explained Dr. Mahmood.

"It was already stage three after just eight weeks from the first symptom,” said Weekley. “The initial thing I noticed was the swelling; in hindsight, I think I might of had a dimple, and I thought...you know… I'm only 28; I'm too young, most women don't get cancer until they're in their 60's."

Finding her way forward, Weekley began chemo and radiation. And just six months later, Dr. Mahmood delivered what she calls a miracle.

“The treatment consisted of chemotherapy, initially. She did very well, so by the time the chemo was finished and she went back for her surgery, there was no evidence of cancer found at the time of surgery. She was in complete remission...which happens, but happens somewhat rarely."

"I just couldn't believe it...I couldn't believe it... just think everything happens for a reason and that I was sent to work here so I would be here, because had I not....I don’t know…”

Since going into remission, Weekley has had a mastectomy, continues radiation therapy, and chemo therapy. As an oncology nurse, Weekley finds divine grace in each patient, and hopes her story will do the same...

"Hopefully I can offer them. I've been there I've done that...it's not the end of the world...you just got to keep going..."

This years ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ event is getting ready to kick off. YOU can make a difference one step at a time by signing up and registering for a team! There will be a big kickoff for the breast cancer walk at Gulf Coast Community College on August 23rd. Community walkers and sponsors are needed! The walk will be October 9th at Aaron Bessant Park, Pier Park, in Panama City Beach!

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  • by Ginny Location: Citronelle, AL on Jul 22, 2010 at 05:42 PM
    Kim...thanks for raising awareness of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) by sharing your inspiring story. I was diagnosed in 1994 with IBC and I'm also a nurse. Hopefully you'll continue to do well and join me as a long-term survivor. I work with the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation a non-profit dedicated to this disease. Check us out online at www.ibcresearch.org You can contact me via the website if you'd like to connect.
  • by jon summers Location: pitttsburgh, pa on Jul 22, 2010 at 12:45 PM
    My wife just lost her battle with IBC after 31\2 years. She was working until 3 weeks before her passing. My prayers go out to you and I hope you win
  • by Jessie Location: Lynn Haven on Jul 22, 2010 at 02:40 AM
    Kimberly, You are such a strong woman and an inspiration to so many! I am so deeply touched by your story I could cry! It's people like you that make others want to be better people. God bless you, your family and your journey in life! --JP of Lynn Haven
  • by Carla Location: North Carolina on Jul 22, 2010 at 12:47 AM
    Kim, you are my hero, I have enjoyed working with you at the hospital and lord knows we have had some crazy times....You are such an inspiration to us all, I am for one so proud of you and I miss you so much...Keep on Rockin on girl, you got it.... Love you,
  • by Anonymous on Jul 21, 2010 at 09:30 PM
    A true inspiration!
  • by debbie on Jul 21, 2010 at 06:13 PM
    u are an amazing young woman, my grandmother had breast cancer and she barely made it as well it is because of when like u and her that make it easier to have a screening done and god bless and pray for ur strength and good health
  • by CouponCook Location: Mobile on Jul 21, 2010 at 05:11 PM
    Well Kim, I always knew you were special. We really didn't want you to be this special though... I should report you to CNN heroes, but I won't. ~ You know who.
  • by Debi Location: Panama City on Jul 21, 2010 at 03:23 PM
    I just want to let you know, I had my first mammorgram yesterday and have a fear of cancer. You are a true inspiration to me and I admire your ability to keep on trucking. You are an amazing person. If you dont mind, I will keep you in my prayers and I do want you to know, your story touched me in many ways. THANK YOU for your encouragement. Prayers to you~~~
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