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How Kim’s faith held firm during battle with cancer

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Supportive family: Kim Hendrickson with son Derrick Hendrickson (Photograph supplied)

The late Kim Hendrickson has been described as a genuine person who lived a life of service. Her faith was "phenomenal and steadfast" as she fought the fight with ovarian cancer.

Navigating life's journey after loss is personal for everyone who experiences it. Some lean on their faith and the faith of their loved ones, like Ms Hendrickson’s mother, Matie Crockwell.

Others find ways to honour loved ones and support those experiencing similar circumstances, like Derrick Hendrickson, who decided to run the Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby in memory of his mother, Ms Hendrickson, and her fight with cancer. Mr Hendrickson has partnered with the charity Pals to raise funds to support their work caring for those impacted by cancer.

“Pals was so helpful and instrumental in the cancer journey that we, as a family, and my mum had to go through,” Mr Hendrickson said.

“So, I decided to reach out to them last week. I saw a group of doctors or staff running to raise funds, but I wanted to do something to represent my mum, so I asked Pals.”

Discussing why he reached out to Pals and why he encourages people to donate and support the cause, Mr Hendrickson said: “Pals’ focus is dealing with cancer care. They have the resources, whether physical, equipment, materials, information, human capital, doctors, and nurses.

“They're primed and in the right location to help ease some of the stress that comes with dealing with the cancer situation and knowing that you have access to information, whether it be pamphlets, handouts, or doctors who are focused on that treatment or care.

“If you need a roll-away bed or medical equipment, if they have access to it, they give it to you, and there is no added stress of trying to find or locate that stuff yourself or buying it yourself.

For Pals: scan the QR code if you wish to donate

“Why I chose them is because of the service they provided for my mama, and I would recommend anybody who is dealing with cancer, especially when there is no other alternative, to get their assistance."

Ms Crockwell said her daughter’s faith during her cancer journey had been inspiring.

“Kim's faith was phenomenal, Kim's faith was steadfast,” Ms Crockwell said. “There was no moment I can recall that she just gave up. She never just gave up.

“She would say, ‘I don't know why God chose this journey for me, but I do know that God makes no mistakes.’ She never really focused on herself. She had friends that she met over the years; a couple had cancer as well. She was more concerned with what was happening with them than herself.”

Ms Crockwell added: “The only thing I can emphasise is Kim’s unshakeable faith and trust in God. Without sounding preachy, it was her trust in God that was it. I'm not going to say that there wasn't a time that she became sad to think about it because her biggest thing was leaving her family and how it impacted her family.”

Ms Crockwell shared Ms Hendrickson’s words when asked how she would encourage someone who may find themselves battling cancer. Ms Crockwell said: "’What a privilege it is to be called a child of God and to live for him.' That was her determination, which was to live for God.

“For those who may be going through a journey like this, she was not the person who would preach at you, but if you asked her about herself and what makes her like that, she would always say, 'It’s not me it's God, my relation with God is what keeps me going.’ She was not about to lie down and die — she was going to keep going.”

On the other side of those fighting the battle with disease are the loved ones caring for and supporting them.

When discussing how he would encourage someone in a similar situation, Mr Hendrickson said: “People that have gone through it typically know what it feels like, and being empathetic is easy.

“The people who have not don't always know what to say. I know that some people care enough, or want to care enough, to say something. I suggest they should just be mindful of how they say or what they say, and how it could be potentially received by individuals going through it.”

He added: "Don't let anyone tell you how to grieve; as long as it's not detrimental to your health, you must figure out how to navigate that.

“The person, the loss is irreplaceable, and there is no way you can fill that hole. Over time, the waves become less frequent, but that doesn't mean you don't feel the same loss or hurt.

“Surround yourself with people who will help support you through what you're going through. It's hard to tell people how to navigate grief; what works for some may not work for others, depending on your specific walk of faith or life.

“Certain statements may work for you, and others don't, so be mindful and don't take it personally if a person does not receive it as expected.”

Ms Hendrickson lived her daily life thinking about others and putting God first. In her own words, read by Ms Crockwell: “Just thinking about God's only Begotten Son Jesus, He came to die for me and my sins, that I might live for God, that I might be a child of the King. Do you get it? Jesus died so that I could live.”

Ms Hendrickson's journey and faith inspired many who encountered, loved, and supported her. Ms Crockwell said: “It's the little things, see people look for these huge events to see somebody's faith, but hers was in the little things.

“Kim's faith was phenomenal, steadfast, and genuine. It was not something she put on; this was who she was and remained, who she was until the very end. I miss her very much.”

Derrick’s greatest run

If anyone wishes to donate, they can scan the QR code on the flyer in the second image attached to this article, or go to www.pals.bm, or call 236-7257 for more information

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Published May 18, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 20, 2024 at 8:13 am)

How Kim’s faith held firm during battle with cancer

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