After tough journey, Peacock released from hospital

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From left, Jim, Kimberly, Hayley and Heather Peacock. (Photo provided).

Columbia Falls teen Kimberly Peacock has been cooking some gourmet meals lately. Itís a great feeling, her father, Jim said. Kimberly was recently released from a Denver hospital after being isolated in a room for 70 days following a bone marrow transplant.

ďItís kind of like being released from jail,Ē Jim quipped Monday.

Last July, Kimberly was diagnosed with leukemia and has been going through a long series of treatments ever since. The last was the bone marrow transplant, with cells harvested from an umbilical cord flown in from France, Jim said.

Kimberly is considered in total remission, but she has to stay within an hour of a hospital through at least August. The procedure has severely weakened her immune system and thereís other complications from medications as well, Jim noted.

Right now, the family, is simply taking it day-by-day, knowing she may have to go back into the hospital. One main concern is fluid in her lungs.

Theyíre living in a Brentís Place Foundation house ó a specialized apartment facility that goes through a thorough cleaning daily. They even pull the refrigerator out and clean underneath it regularly.

The complex is designed for children with compromised immune systems.

ďItís a hyper-clean environment,Ē Jim said.

When Kimberly was in the hospital, she could only have six visitors.

The hope is to be home by this fall. Kimberly was a standout cross-country runner for Columbia Falls and a basketball player.

The hope is she can get back to playing hoops by this winter, but because of her weakened immune system, sheíll probably have to be home schooled through the fall.

A blood drive in honor of Kimberly is being held Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the North Valley Hospital Conference Room at 235 Nucleus Ave., Columbia Falls. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 897-2104.

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