KIM RENEE CLARK
The Carolina–Duke rivalry is fierce, particularly in men’s college basketball, between the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels. It is considered one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports: a poll conducted by ESPN in 2000 ranked the basketball rivalry as the third greatest North American sports rivalry, and Sports Illustrated on Campus named it the #1 “Hottest Rivalry” in college basketball. The intensity of the rivalry is augmented by the proximity of the two universities, located only ten miles apart roughly along U.S. Highway 15-501 (aka Tobacco Road) – eight miles apart in straight-line distance.
In the Colorectal Cancer world, the only lines drawn in the sand of a fierce rivalry are Us vs. Cancer. Meet one of the Gloria Borges WunderGlo Foundation’s newest Wunder’s Warrior, CRC Survivor, and UNC Tar Heel, Kim Renee Clark.
At the age of 29, when Kim Renee found out the news that she was pregnant, she nearly fainted. You see, she had always been told that pregnancy would never ben an option for her without the aid of fertility medication. Albeit unexpected at this particular time in her life, Kim credits the pregnancy of her precious daughter, Chanelle, with saving her life. Midway through her pregnancy she experienced rectal bleeding that was assumed to be pregnancy-related hemorrhoids. After a couple of treatments by a proctologist, the doctor believed that more could be wrong and recommended a colonoscopy. Since this seemed to be both highly unlikely and unnecessary to Kim, she consulted with two different doctors and a Physician’s Assistant who agreed that this option could be put on hold. However, seven months after the birth of her daughter, Kim noticed that the bleeding did not stop, in fact, it worsened. So, eight months later, at the age of 30, a colonoscopy revealed the devastating news that Kim indeed had rectal cancer. Thanks to supportive family and friends, Kim got into fighting mode and after 11-rounds of chemotherapy, 1-1/2 months of chemo+radiation, and multiple surgeries, Kim has thankfully now been in remission for 3-1/2 years.
“I have learned two things: (1) you are NEVER too young to get cancer and (2) life is so precious. Enjoy each day given to you. I met Gloria when I was trying to piece together my life. Her passion for helping others was contagious. When I mentioned in a support group that I was applying to UNC (Duke’s largest rival), Gloria graciously offered to help me out with writing my personal statement. I am happy to say I am now a proud Tar Heel thanks to Gloria!”-Kim Renee Clark
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