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A Derby grandma says she was inspired to lose nearly seven stone after getting her “second chance at life”.
Kim Short was diagnosed with a rare and currently incurable disease called AL amyloidosis two years ago.
The condition is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body. Without treatment, it can lead to organ failure.
But thankfully doctors found the disease in its early stages, and Kim underwent a stem cell transplant which has stopped her body from producing amyloid.
As a result of the transplant, and six months of chemotherapy prior to that, the disease is currently completely inactive, giving Kim’s body the chance to rid itself of the abnormal protein.
The 52-year-old spoke about her battle with the condition and how it gave her the motivation to transform her lifestyle after reaching her heaviest of 19st 6lbs.
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Kim, who has worked as a prison nurse for 10 years, said: “Amyloidosis can make you feel really tired and my kidneys, spleen and liver don’t function as well as they should.
“But I was lucky that they caught mine early, and I was able to have a stem cell transplant in May 2019, which literally put a stop to my body producing amyloid.
“So at the moment, the disease is completely inactive, which gives my body the chance to rid itself of amyloid.
“I was already quite heavy, around 16.5st before the start of my treatment, due to not exercising and eating the wrong things, like overeating on takeaways and grazing all day long on sweets, chocolate and biscuits.
“I then gained another three stone during my treatment because of the steroids I was taking. But then I figured that if I’ve been given this second chance at life, I really want to make the most of it and move forward in a healthy way.
What is amyloidosis?
Amyloidosis is the name for a group of rare, serious conditions caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body.
The build-up of amyloid proteins (deposits) can make it difficult for the organs and tissues to work properly. Without treatment, this can lead to organ failure.
AL amyloidosis is caused by an abnormality in certain cells found in the bone marrow, called plasma cells.
The abnormal plasma cells produce abnormal forms of light chain proteins, which enter the bloodstream and can form amyloid deposits.
There is not currently a cure for amyloidosis. The amyloid deposits cannot be directly removed.
But there are treatments to stop more of the abnormal proteins being produced and treat your symptoms.
These treatments can give your body time to gradually clear the deposits before they build up again. This can help prevent organ damage.
In most cases, the treatment will involve having chemotherapy. Chemotherapy damages abnormal bone marrow cells and stops them producing the abnormal proteins that form amyloid deposits.
Steroids are usually given together with chemotherapy to boost the effect of the chemotherapy drugs. They may also lessen your chances of having a bad reaction to chemotherapy.
Your doctor may also discuss using other treatments, such as a stem cell transplant.
The above information was taken from the NHS website page here.
“It was like getting a new lease of life, saying ‘there you go Kim, there is your blank page, and it is there for you to write’.”
Since getting the motivation to lose weight, the mum-of-two has slimmed down to 12st 7.5lbs, a total weight loss of 6st 12.5lbs.
The majority of her weight loss, 5st 9lbs, has come since she joined Kim Turner’s Slimming World group, at St Peter’s Church, in Derby, in July, 2019.
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Kim, who was once a size 22, recently enjoyed a very proud moment when she bought a pair of size 12 jeans, something which she hasn’t been able to do for many years.
Kim, who is grandma to three-year-old Oscar, added: “It was absolutely lovely to be able to go into town and pick up a pair of size 12 jeans, which fit perfectly.
“We all know that healthy eating and exercise are the best things for you, I’m a nurse after all.
“I still have the odd treat, but I mainly stick to having three meals a day, with healthy meats and lots of fruit and vegetables, like pears and grapes.
“I cook from scratch, and my favourite meal is crispy chili beef. I also exercise at every opportunity, I do step aerobics, power walking, and I joined the National Trust so I go walking for miles with my friends too.
“I’ve got loads more energy now and feel fitter than ever.”
This content was originally published here.