May 25, 2018
For cancer survivor Kimberly Bloms, a simple blanket reminded her she was not alone in her fight against leukemia. It kept her warm through each chemotherapy treatment and comforted her during nights in the hospital. The woven fibers symbolized the strong community of supporters by her side.
This June, Kupper Subaru of Mandan will bring that gift to more cancer patients, donating blankets to Sanford Bismarck patients actively receiving treatment.
“When I was undergoing treatment, my mom gave me a Labrador print fleece tie blanket,” Bloms said. “It reminded me of home and the people who cared about me, even in those moments when I didn’t have anyone around me.
“These blankets will remind other cancer patients of the things they fight for.”
Coming out stronger
Bloms was diagnosed with an aggressive type of acute myeloid leukemia in July 2016 at just 36 years old. Over the next six months, she underwent three rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
Kimberly Bloms with her dad, Jim Stewart, (left) and husband, Adam Bloms (right).
That time was filled with ups and downs. Her cancer caused her to lose her vision, and she saw the impact of her diagnosis on her parents and husband, Adam.
“My husband was such a rock and never showed his emotion,” Bloms said. “Later he told me every time he went home when I was in the hospital, he wasn’t sure if he was going to see me the next day.”
The kindness and constant support from family, friends and even complete strangers made that time bearable and always seemed to arrive at the right moment. Small gestures like a handwritten message, a gift card to the Olive Garden just as she was regaining her appetite, a Green Bay Packer’s teddy bear from her niece and a cozy blanket reminded Bloms why she needed to keep fighting.
“The way people give to others is unreal,” Bloms said. “To know people were thinking about me was so humbling.”
About a year and a half after her transplant, Bloms is thriving. She still struggles to see out of her left eye, but she’s back to work as a pediatric physical therapist in Bismarck and continues to cherish all the people who supported her throughout her treatment.
“I came out stronger, and I want to continue paying forward that kindness,” Bloms said.
Kimberly Bloms and her husband, Adam Bloms (right).
Paying it forward
Throughout June, Kupper Subaru visitors will have the opportunity to share personalized, handwritten messages of hope to cancer patients. They will be delivered along with blankets at the end of the month. Nationwide, Subaru retailers, in partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, will donate more than 30,000 blankets to patients undergoing cancer treatment at nearly 250 local hospitals and treatment centers.
“We are so grateful to Kupper Subaru for helping take care of those in our community and giving them the little lift they may need while battling cancer,” said Erin Green, development officer at the Sanford Health Foundation. “There are no words to express our appreciation.”