EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – We continue our Touched by Cancer series with Tiffany Hobbs speaking with a local woman about her diagnosis.

“It was May,” said Kimberly Aiken of Evans. “May 10, actually.”

Just two days after Mother’s Day 2022, Aiken went to see her doctor for what she thought was a sciatic nerve problem.  

“It was several hours later, when he called me back,” said Aiken. “I was asleep, so I woke up to a voicemail. And he was frantic.” 

Her doctor told her it looked as if her kidneys were shutting down.

Aiken spent several days at Piedmont for tests and, eventually, she was sent to an oncologist. 

Soon it was confirmed that she had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

“That’s just one of the words that you…I’ve always prayed about,” said Aiken. “That I never wanted to hear in my house.”

Aiken says she had just lost a friend to cancer.

“She just passed away like…a  year or so ago,” said Aiken. “Yeah about two years ago at the time.”

Over the next few months, Aiken says she struggled with understanding why this was happening to her.

 “It was a year that was unforgettable,” said Aiken.

Aiken’s husband, Antoni Aiken, has been walking hand-in-hand with her through chemotherapy and treatments.

“There were nights where she was not feeling well at all and all we could just do was pray,” said Antoni Aiken. “There were no words that I could say. So that was the thing that kept us pushing through. And we’ve got a lot of life ahead of us.”

Aiken says her faith and her children continue to be her motivation.

“I think the kidney failure part was more on my mind than the actual cancer,” Aiken said. “If I cried, I cried. But then I got back up with a smile. I wanted them to see that mommy is strong.”

Now with her kidney function stable, Aiken says the support she’s received from her community has been invaluable.

When she decided to stop homeschooling her children to focus on her health, she found a safe haven in Community Christian Academy.

“During the interview, we told them- we were up front- about what was going on and why we were doing this,” said Kimberly Aiken. “And they prayed with us and made us feel at home. Where I thought it was going to be catastrophic it worked out beautifully.”

Aiken says while there is still more work ahead, she believes she is finding her ‘why’.

“There’s a reason why it happened,” said Aiken. “And I do believe that the relationships that came about through chemo- I’ve met some wonderful women and gentlemen. Maybe this is the reason why. Just helping me to walk further into my purpose or, just, out of a shell. And to do greater things. What things? I don’t know. But I’m open to whatever doors they are- whether it’s telling my story, writing a book, ministry…I don’t know. But I’m open to it.”