Dear Dave, Falen and Steve,
I am writing in hopes you will consider one of my absolute best friends, Kim (along with her husband Josh and 4 year old son Ryder) for your annual Christmas Wish.
I have known Kim since 1st grade! We grew up a couple houses apart and spent nearly every day together for a good part of our childhood. After highschool we went our separate ways to different colleges. Kim joined the Air Force and was almost immediately deployed to Afghanistan for a 9 month tour. After returning home, Kim and her husband Josh settled down, continued school and focused on their family. They added a sweet baby boy, Ryder to their family in 2015. Everything was going great.
As life tends to do, Kim and Josh were thrown a massive curveball just as Ryder was approaching two years old. Ryder began losing weight and Kim knew immediately something was not right. What followed was doctor appointment after doctor appointment to figure out what was going on with their sweet little boy. Finally, they got the news that would drop any parent to their knees – Ryder was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
The journey they were now faced with is one that only those who have been through it can fully understand.
Over the last two years, Ryder has been through more surgeries and procedures then I can even keep track of. Just a few of these include several brain surgeries to biopsy his tumor, surgically placing a tube in his intestines for feedings, and an implanted port for him to receive chemo through. In addition, he has MRI’s every few months, frequent doctor appointments and chemo every Friday.
Despite all of this, Kim and Josh continue to work full time to make ends meet and pay for all the expenses that come with such a serious health condition. In addition to being a Master Sargent in the Air Force Reserves, Kim works four 10 hour days each week so that she is able to take Ryder to chemo on Fridays. Then, she spends her weekends fighting the nasty side effects Ryder faces following chemo day. Come Monday, they do it all again.
Their strength amazes me. They hold tight to their faith and maintain a level of positivity I would never be capable of. Throughout all they have been through the last couple years I have never once heard Kim complain. Despite the undeniable exhaustion, the suffering that comes with watching your child go through so much, along with the gut-wrenching fear of what the future holds; Kim and Josh would be the first to describe their lives as blessed. They are so appreciative of all the small things the majority of us take for granted.
This, in a nutshell, is why I believe with all my heart that Kim, Josh and Ryder deserve this Christmas Wish more than I can even express. Kim and Josh devote every minute of every day making sure Ryder is as happy and healthy as possible. And while I’m excited to say that currently Ryder is doing the best he has so far and their family will even be welcoming a new baby this upcoming spring, there is no denying how stressed and worn out Kim and Josh must be going into this Christmas season.
To describe this family as selfless would truly be an understatement. They are an inspiration to everyone who knows them. They remind us all to be grateful for what we have, even when faced with the most difficult of circumstances. My Christmas wish for them is to not only help alleviate some of the simple stressors of everyday life but to also give Kim and Josh some of the things I know they would NEVER justify getting for themselves. Please help me make this Christmas Wish possible!
For the Clark Family this holiday season, $200 Visa Gift card for groceries, 4 tickets to Sam’s Christmas Village and Light Tour, new sheets and comforter for Mom & Dad.
For the new baby, packers onesie, gender neutral onesies, MN Wild Onesie, PJs, slippers, wearable blanket. We also got an elephant blanket, crib sheets, blankets, fox towel, avocado stroller toy, bowls, spoons, bath toys, piano and numbers learner toy, baby in sight car mirror, bottle warmer & bottles.
For 3-year-old Ryder, Paw patrol water bottle, PJ Masks Water bottle, Paw patrol weighted blanket, Paw patrol throw blanket, PJ Masks figures, Paw patrol comforter, Paw Patrol Marshall Plush, Paw Patrol fighting crime toy, Paw patrol backpack, Paw patrol rug, Paw patrol body pillow, PJ Masks coloring book, Paw patrol ultimate fire truck, PJ Masks super moon adventure rocket. He'll also receive a MN Wild long sleeve, Shirts, Flannel shirt, Jeans, PJs & Sweaters.
Dad, Josh, will receive a $100 Lowe’s Gift Card, 20 piece cookware set, Air fryer, Instant pot, 28 piece PLUS 34 piece tupperware, MN Wild Mug, T-shirts, jean jacket, flannel shirts, sweaters, MN Wild longsleeve and short sleeve, MN Wild sweatshirt, Hat & Bomber jacket. For Mom, Kim, $50 spa finder gift card, foot spa, bath salts, foot care set, heated blanket, diaper bag, calendar, reusable food storage bags, coffee mug, relaxation set. She'll also receive new PJs, Sweaters, Hat, Scarf, Long sleeve shirts, Cardigans, Shoes, Mittens, Jacket & MN Wild sweater.
Listen to Dave grant this Wish for the Clark Family.