‘I will walk.’ Kim Dennie’s journey of hope brings her closer to goal

Niagara This Week - St. Catharines

THOROLD -- Following a month-long stay in China, Kim Dennie has more faith now than she ever did that her wheelchair will be a part of her past.

On Jan. 13, Dennie left her home in Allanburg on a journey to China for stem cell therapy treatments not available in Canada. After an assessment, Dennie was told the words she has so longed to hear since her life was changed nearly four years ago.

"They told me that my condition is not that bad and I should be able to walk again," Dennie told This Week. "With the right mindset and persistence and continued therapy, I will walk."

In July 2003 Dennie, and her two children, 13-year-old Brittany and 12-year-old Jamie, were returning from a trip to Sudbury. The car she was riding in was broadsided by an oncoming vehicle. The car slammed into the passenger side door where she was sitting. Dennie broke her back, neck, shoulder and pelvis and hasn't been able to walk since.

The initial diagnosis was complete spinal chord injury, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

Three months later she was wiggling the toes on her left foot and the diagnosis was changed from complete to an incomplete spinal cord injury. Since that day, Dennie has vowed to herself that she will walk away from the wheelchair she has come to rely on.

She heard about the treatment from a friend she met in therapy and immediately knew it was something worth trying.

Dennie had four rounds of stem cell injection into her spinal chord and another which ran through an IV in her hand. Following the first treatment she saw no changes, but after the second her spasms decreased, her neurological burning pain decreased and she started to regain movement in her right leg.

"I've regained quite a bit of mobility," a beaming Dennie said. "I can sit on the edge of my bed with my leg hanging over it and can lift it back up. I couldn't do any of that before I left."

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'I will walk.' Kim Dennie's journey of hope brings her closer to goal

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