We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberlyn Reyna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberlyn, how do you think about risk?
Risk takers are brave individuals who I see put their faith in God and themselves. If we do not have risk takers, this world would be pretty mundane. I’m sure at one point the risk takers were doubtful and scared, but they knew something had to be done. When I was first diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, I knew I needed to take a risk and start chemo right away. Not knowing the outcome, and uncertainty of the affects my body would face, I took a leap of faith and gave total control to God. The craziest risk my family had to make for my well-being, was to discharge me from Conroe Regional hospital, hire a private ambulance, and have me enter through Md Anderson emergency room without knowing if MD would accept me. At the time when I was at Conroe Regional, I did not have health insurance, so I was on standby until I could transfer to any hospital in Houston to receive treatment I was on standby for a week, and all of the doors seemed to have been closing on me. Some hospitals were over capacity, others wanted an unbelievable amount of money to take me in. My family was distraught and did not know where to turn to. Thankfully God heard our prayers and made a way for me. Remarkable individuals advised my parents and husband to have me discharged from Conroe Regional so I can enter through MD Anderson’s emergency room. If I were to transfer from hospital to hospital, I would have needed to pay a heavy amount of money to enter, so we did what was advised and voluntarily discharged myself and my dad hired a private ambulance company. There was no way that I would be denied entry through the emergency room. I knew God was in control all along and had a plan for me. In short, I was admitted to MD Anderson, and by the Grace of God I did not have to pay for treatment. This coming April I will be 2 years in remission, and all thanks to God, my family, and of course MD Anderson.Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am very excited about my future and look forward to having more opportunity to share my story, and I strive to be an encouragement to others. I took a big step and enrolled back into College, and I didn’t see it possible being a mother of two and a new baby on the way. I had to take a risk and get out of my comfort zone, so I can accomplish my dreams and goals. God willing in 2022 I’ll be applying for the Dental Hygiene program at Lonestar College. In two years, my goal is to have my career at hand and a book published. This book I hope could be a blessing to others and encourage them to never give up. Yes the road is bumpy, but when we fall we will get back up stronger. If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I am born and raised Houstonian, I am going to sound bias when I say this, but Houston is the best city! The city’s diversity invites you in and keeps you wanting more. There are so many places to explore within the city and the food is phenomenal. If my best friend was visiting, I would know exactly where to take them. Being someone who loves food and loves trying new restaurants, I can say I do have some recommendations. Also, I would recommend fun enjoyable indoor and outdoor activities that I know they would love. My restaurant/food trucks recommendations (in no particular order because they are all so great) are as follows: Grotto on Westheimer, Lucky Palace Korean Restaurant, Tofu Village, Soho Chicken (can you tell I love Asian food), Cuchara, local foods, La Calle, Taconazo, Oh My GOgi!, Kindee, Chimichurri’s, Mi Pueblito Restaurant, and Sal y Pimienta. For activities, I recommend: bike riding downtown or through the Museum district, Axe throwing, ice skating at the Galleria, farmers market in Greater Heights area, Loft 18, Bowling at Luckys Strike, Pleasure Pier, Kemah boardwalk, and Space Center. I don’t think a week would suffice, but we would make the best with the time we have. My best friend would definitely want to come back to visit and experience even more of Houston.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is a tough question because I have so many individuals who were part of my journey; from family members to MD Anderson staff, and the Conroe Regional medical team. To answer your question, if I were to give recognition it would have to be Champion Forest Baptist Church. In my darkest times I battled with anxiety, especially at night as my anxiety would peak. Another night meant another day without my daughters. Thanks to this amazing church, I started receiving morning visits from caring individuals. At each visit, a member of the church would speak words of encouragement and pray for me. Through each visit, God constantly reminded me that I was not alone, and he was there to comfort me. I am humbly grateful for their lives and I hope to do the same once the pandemic is over.