Our world is full of unsung heroes; real-life heroes who show up in times of disaster at great sacrifice to themselves...
When Kim was born with a growth hormone deficiency, doctors said her brain wouldn't develop normally and she wouldn't amount to much. But she proved them wrong. Today, Kim's sister, Nicky, honors Kim as her unsung hero ...
See that woman in the picture leaning over the person wrapped in a blanket?
That’s my darling sister, Kim. She’s calming a distressed woman; humming her to sleep after she’d suffered devastating loss in the Christchurch earthquake.
My sister Kim, showed up as part of an entire team who worked up to ten hours a day serving food, doing dishes, ministering and counselling those affected by the earthquake.
When you look at the picture what you won’t see is that Kim was born with a growth hormone deficiency. From an early age Kim received daily injections into her thigh to help her grow. I didn’t know how she endued the pain.
Yet, despite her health challenges, just as Kim calms that woman in the picture, shielding her from the noise and invasive flashes of light generated by the media, Kim shielded me.
On the days my father beat my mother, Kim took my hand and hid me in the cupboard. She told me we were playing hide and seek. Sometimes she made a castle under my bed. In our hidey places, Kim soothed me, rubbed my back, and quietly sang to me. I never really understood why she did that until much later on in life. Now I know she was protecting me, even though she was suffering herself.
My sister Kim, is an unsung hero. When her growth deficiency was diagnosed, doctors and specialists said she wouldn’t amount to much. They said her brain wouldn’t develop normally. But she proved them all 100% wrong!
" ... she proved them all 100% wrong!"
Kim's volunteer work started at the age of nine in primary school. Everyday Kim assisted the special needs class during her lunch breaks. She helped entertain and feed the students, so the teacher could enjoy her lunch. Kim continued her work with the children until she left primary school.
Because of her height, I witnessed my sister get pushed in the corridors and called names, but that didn’t stop her from helping others. In high-school Kim trained as a youth worker at the local church. She eventually became a Sunday school teacher and the kids loved her.
As my sister grew into a woman she continued to help people. From simple things , like helping the elderly into their car to feeding the homeless from a food truck. She helped girls off the street, showing them another way and helping them see that they didn't need to sell their bodies for a living. Kim did this three times a week while studying nursing and working.
Next, Kim started a school holiday program for disabled children. This program has been running for twenty years and Kim was instrumental in its formation. She used her annual leave to look after these children as the program required a nurse to function - she refused to take money for it.
She went on to manage a church-based community team who would prepare and serve a meal once a month for 50 - 80 people.
My sister constantly deals with knock backs and re-occurring health dilemmas and deals with chronic pain due to her condition. Yet, every morning she gets up. She never says, ''What can I take from this world'. She says 'Yup, thank you Lord, I am alive, I have air in my lungs - now how may I be of service'. This is how she lives. I have truly never met someone like my sister.
Our world is full of unsung real-life heroes. Heroes who show up in times of disaster at great sacrifice to themselves, heroes who raise funds to support those who are suffering, heroes who save lives.
My sister never talks about the pain she endures, neither does she talk about her many accomplishments. So today, I share this story on her behalf, to celebrate my beautiful sister. My unsung hero.
Kim, I love you more than chocolate. Thank you for being the incredible woman I have the honour of knowing, the pleasure of being proud of, someone I come to when times are really tough in my life and it all seems too much; someone who just knows when things are not right.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the absolute incredible woman you are. I scored big time when I was born as your baby sister.
~ Nicky Sherwood