Child Health Diagnosis

Moving Forward When Your World Feels Like It’s Stopped – by Kimberly Love Quick

Shortly before Christmas in 2019, my family’s world changed forever. While home for winter break during her sophomore year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), I was on the sofa, looking at pictures and snuggling with my daughter Kymani. Suddenly, a scream pierced through the house. Kymani’s eyes rolled in the back of her head, and her back locked in a position that looked like it was broken.

I stared helplessly in fear as she convulsed and shook, then yelled for my husband and we began to pray for her. After her seizure, we went to the hospital and left with medication but no explanation. The soonest neurology appointment was a four-month wait. Another Emergency Room visit on New Year’s Eve after a subsequent severe seizure resulted in a hospital stay and eventual diagnosis of Epilepsy. Our world had stopped spinning.

Devastated by this diagnosis at such an important time in her life, Kymani struggled with this new identity. It took some time to get her on the right medication, and to determine what accommodations she would need when she returned to college.

Then there was the spiritual aspect – her questioning how God could allow this to happen to her, and wondering where this new detour in her life would lead. I felt like my encouragement and prayers didn’t seem to help much as she struggled through the stages of grief concerning this life-altering diagnosis.

I did my best to parent Kymani through her illness, and when it came time to leave her at college, I had to trust God to take care of my daughter, which He did! Kymani continued her studies and started a catering company called Quick Licks Kitchen, LLC. We spent the next couple of years researching websites, and treatments, and watched every episode of Grey’s Anatomy hoping we could find a cure.  

By her senior year, she was thriving and looking forward to graduation.  Unfortunately, in her first month of the semester, the world stopped spinning once again. She had a seizure at the bookstore and severely injured her ankle. She was on crutches for a few months, then had to come home during winter break and have surgery on her tendon.  She was devastated as it was just months away from graduation and it looked like she wouldn’t finish in time because she couldn’t attend class. 

There’s an old gospel song by James Cleveland called “I Don’t Feel Noways Tired”, which I kept singing during that time, I don’t believe He brought me thus far to leave me! Kymani refused my suggestion to sit out a semester so she could heal, so I sought assistance from the school’s Office of Accessibility to come up with an action plan. Kymani took the plan and ran with it, doing homework in the hospital and taking weekly tests from my kitchen table.

Many nights she would lament that she was scared that she wouldn’t be able to walk across the stage. We prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and finally, the day came! Not only did she walk across the stage…IN HEELS…she graduated with honors with a degree in Marketing! I was so proud she crossed the finish line after all she had been through. 

A scripture I held onto after Kymani’s diagnosis was Romans 8:28-29, reminding me that we were experiencing was working for our good, and helping us to become more like Jesus:

We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters.”

Romans 8:28-29 CEB

Now here comes the interesting part…As life would have it, my world soon stopped spinning again.

The day before Kymani’s graduation, I was in the hospital getting a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Following that, the day before her graduation party that we planned for weeks, I had a bone marrow biopsy and received a devastating diagnosis – Stage 1 Multiple Myeloma. This was the same form of cancer my dad had been diagnosed with eight years earlier.

I knew that this news would devastate my family and I didn’t want to ruin my daughter’s graduation, especially as she had fought so hard just to walk across the stage. I chose to keep my diagnosis a secret until the big month was over. I was walking around with a secret that only my husband, mom, and brother knew. I was scared, angry, and distraught, but I had to be strong so we could celebrate my daughter’s success without distraction. It was time for me to put on the armor that God had equipped me with.

We made it through an amazing graduation celebration and in July we went through several family transitions: Kymani was starting her dream job in Atlanta, my son Jordan was starting his dream job as a teacher, my husband was starting his dream assignment as the Head Pastor of a church in another city, and I was starting my dream assignment as First Lady. Where did starting chemotherapy the day before we moved fit into all that was going on?  I continually asked, “Where is God in all of This?”

As I went through dealing with the diagnosis and treatment, it gave me empathy for my daughter and all she had been through since her diagnosis. God was with me the entire time and reminded me of His promises each and every day. More importantly, He reminded me of my daughter’s journey, her struggle with accepting her diagnosis, her struggle living each day without knowing when or if she will have another seizure, and her fight to make it through college with every obstacle in her way.  God reminded me of her fight, her strength, and her endurance. If my daughter could make it through her storm, why couldn’t I?

My journey began with chemotherapy treatments for four months, followed by a stem cell transplant in October 2022.  My body went through a lot and some days were harder than others.  My biggest struggle was losing my hair. No matter how hard I tried to prepare for that experience, I wasn’t ready.

When I Facetimed my daughter to show her my hair loss, she noticed my sadness. She reminded me about the time we sat in the hospital waiting for her electroencephalography (EEG). She had been admitted to the hospital after her second seizure and the nurse said her freshly installed wig had to be removed for the test. 

I have never worn a wig and didn’t realize how hard it would be to remove the wig with a small pair of scissors and a technician waiting impatiently at the door. I quickly started cutting and learned the hard way that real hair and thread looked alike. Unfortunately, I cut her hair while trying to remove the wig. According to her, I mutilated her hair so badly, that she had to cut it short to correct the damage.  I felt terrible but explained to her when having to decide between her hair and her health, her health won, and I assured her that her hair would grow back! I then told her, “YOU ARE NOT YOUR HAIR!” She was still hurt and angry that she had to rock a short style for a few months, but it grew back beautifully. 

My daughter took the opportunity to remind me of those same words I had spoken to her. “MOM, you are NOT your hair!”  What a full-circle moment. My daughter’s struggle with Epilepsy had not only prepared me for my journey but also prepared her for walking this journey alongside me.  I have spent the last 22 years ministering to my daughter, and she has spent the last year ministering to me, based on her own epilepsy experience. God’s promise – ALL things work together for our good! I saw my daughter use the same spiritual armor that God helped build up in me over the years, but especially after her diagnosis. What a blessing it was to have my daughter encourage me throughout my sickness.

We also researched medicine and treatments, dealt with side effects, and made lists to help with tough decisions. We’ve talked through the anxiety we both experienced due to our diagnoses. We discussed the mental struggles we’ve had, sharing what works for us, and what doesn’t.

Kymani moved to Atlanta with a great job. God continues to answer prayers for my daughter. She is sharing her testimony when she previously didn’t want anyone to know. She connected with a great church family and is using her experience to encourage others. To God Be the Glory!

I realized that when we go through difficult times, the world may feel like it stops spinning, but we have to keep pushing ahead. Always remember that our test is making way for our testimony, I am happy to say that today I am cancer-free and Kymani is thriving.  We encourage each other each day, praying, pushing, fussing, and laughing all the way.  And the world keeps turning!


Heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise. Thank you for the gift of life, thank you for those who you put in my path to travel this journey with me.  We praise you when the world stops spinning, we praise you when the world keeps turning.  We thank you for each and every day that we get to share your love, your grace and your mercy with others.  Continue to bless us and keep us in your everlasting arms.
In Jesus Name, Amen

Link to Kim’s Original Story posted in April 2021

Want to hear more of Kimberly’s story? Watch our Moms Night In Conversation here:

Or watch on Facebook here.

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