In early 2008, Kim Albin established The Cure MS Foundation. Kim is also a National Multiple Sclerosis Society/Greater Illinois Chapter (NMSS/GIC) long time volunteer and Board of Trustees member.
Kim’s passion for advocacy and finding a cure for MS has taken her to Washington D.C. where she has met with former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert to lobby for additional and more affordable healthcare coverage and benefits for those afflicted with MS and for stricter ADA regulation compliance. In addition, she played an integral part in Springfield, Illinois where her efforts helped launch the release of the “It’s Double Time!” scratch-off instant lottery ticket—the first instant lottery ticket in U.S. Lottery history where 100 percent of net proceeds are used to help people in Illinois living with MS. Since its inception in July 2008, 2011 marks the 4th year the special MS ticket will be sold, with tickets from previous years raising more than $3.6 million in net proceeds for MS research grants awarded in Illinois.
Kim is definitely a true hero, not only for what she has accomplished but more for who she is as a person. Kim has been one of my best friends for about 18 years. We met when our daughters were around 2 years old, our daughter’s are now both in college. It’s been a very long time and we have seen each other through many good times and bad, fortunately for us, mostly good. For those that did not know Kim prior to being diagnosed with MS, she’s very much the same person today as she was back then. When I met Kim she had moved from Phoenix to Chicago to be the District Manager for J. Crew, then Banana Republic and finally Victoria’s Secret. I was immediately in awe of her strength, her leadership, her influence and inspiration on other people and how powerful she was, and on top of all of that, she was a great wife, a great mother and a great friend. I mean she really did it all and she made it look easy.
Then about 15 years ago Kim was diagnosed with MS. Her life was forever changed in ways that would seem unimaginable to the average person. This woman who did it all, who put everyone else first, whose attitude was the sky’s the limit, now had limits placed upon her that could not be ignored. She would wake up with a whole to do list in her head but if her body wasn’t up for it then it wasn’t happening. Again to the average person this would be devastating, they would ask, why me or think it’s not fair but not Kim, no way, she’s always been a fighter. She is tough and never let this disease define who she was.
Even though the events listed above would not have been so successful without all of the hard work, effort, time and unending generosity of the sponsors, donors, vendors and volunteers, the truth is none these events would be possible if it weren’t for the vision, drive and determination of one woman. Despite those limitations she gets up and fights everyday for the rights, quality of life and most importantly, a cure for MS, not just for herself but for all of those afflicted with MS. Although she is very much the same person I met 18 years ago, today Kim is even stronger, more influential, more inspiring and more empowering than ever before. Her ability to touch the lives of so many is truly a gift and she will certainly never be viewed as average by anyone who sees what she’s accomplished, fortunate enough to know her or blessed enough to call her friend, as am I.