Hopes for a cure to help Doncaster woman walk again
As a keen amateur golfer, Doncaster housing officer Kim Davies used to travel the world playing her favourite game.
But after a the effects of tumour on her spine left her confined to a wheelchair, she is now looking to fly thousands of miles for pioneering treatment which she hopes could see her walk again.
Kim, from Thorne, was fit and healthy until in 1994, when she started to have a pain in her neck while working for a school in the town.
A few weeks later, she was out riding her bike, when she looked down, and suddenly felt pins and needles and a loss of any sensation in her legs. She was aged just 23.
Two years later, doctors diagnosed a tear in her spinal chord - Browns Sequard Syndrome.
It left her with no feeling in her legs, but she was still able to walk. She remained active, playing golf and fishing.
But things worsened, and she started to have problems with her balance. Doctors found a tumour.
In November 2014, Kim, aged 45, had an operation to remove the tumour, which was pushing on her spinal cord, causing it to be pushed outside of the bone.
She was was told she would be walking in seven days, but a three hour operation turned into a seven hour operation, and she had no use of her legs.
She said: "It was devastating. The doctors couldn’t understand why I had no use of them. I was in intensive care for three weeks and in hospital four months."
The doctors believe the tumour had caused nerve damage to the spinal chord.
Kim has continued with her job for St Leger Homes, who she says have been highly supportive of her throughout.
But has refused to give up hope of walking, and has searched for any hope of surgery. After a hunt for information that involved contacting hospitals around the world, she is now hoping for treatment in Mumbai, in India, where doctors believe they can treat her using stem cell therapy, and think she can walk again.
Kim said: "I've been looking at this for two years, and I've finally managed to get a hospital that thinks they can do it. I think it is the way forward to make me walk again. I'm a determined woman, and if anyone is going to do this, it is me."
Kim needs to raise around £30,000 for medical bills, transport costs and physiotherapy afterwards to build up leg muscles which she has not been able to use.
Friends have rallied and she and husband Peter Richardson have already raised £5,500. They believe they can make a move when they have reached the £20,000 mark.
They have support from MP Ed Miliband, and the comedian Duncan Norvelle, who is due to perform a fundraiser for the cause later this year.
It is one of a number of events to raise money for Kim's treatment.
On August 9, pals will take part in a sponsored skydive, and the Thorne Real Ale and Cheese Festival on August 12 and 13 will see £1 from each ticket sale donated, as well as a collection bucket for the fund.
An auction on August 19 at the Winning Post, in Moorends will continue the fundraising, followed by a family fun run at Moorends Recreation Ground. on September 2
Log onto http://www.kimstemcellfund.tk/ to donate.